Hyundai Motorsport has been without a team principal since the beginning of 2022 when the Italian Andrea Adamo left the team. However, today Hyundai announced that Cyril Abiteboul, known from Formula 1, he will take over the leading role of the FIA World Rally Championship team.
Abiteboul has worked in F1 as a team principal for both Caterham F1 Team and Renault Sport F1 Team, he has also spent over 15 years in motorsport. The 45-year-old Frenchman is still a rookie when it comes to rallying as he is replacing the deputy team principal Julien Moncet from this season onwards.
“I am relishing the opportunity to join Hyundai Motorsport as Team Principal from 2023. In motorsport, like in the rest of their activities, the Hyundai brand is cautiously building its leadership. I am excited at the prospect of being part of it, managing the WRC and Customer Racing programs, where the team has already proven to be strong competitors.” Abiteboul said.
“I am looking forward to immersing myself into the rallying community and discovering more about this spectacular sport. Hyundai has given me its full support to make the transition into this role a smooth one. I can’t wait to get started.”
He will also assume responsibility for the company’s customer racing programs in rallying. Thierry Neuville and Esapekka Lappi will drive in the WRC team for a full season in 2023 while the Spaniard Dani Sordo and Irishman Craig Breen sharing the third Hyundai i20 N Rally1 car.
“I am pleased to welcome Cyril Abiteboul into the Hyundai family. Cyril’s experience in Formula One will help us to explore new opportunities for growth and improvements as we look to mount a more intensive fight for titles in WRC and to support our Customer Racing teams. We will deliberately give him time to settle in, discover the environment and, in time, to make the Team Principal role his own.” Sean Kim, Hyundai Motorsport President, added.
“I would like to extend my thanks to Julien Moncet, who took on the deputy role last season with determination. Under his guidance, we secured five victories and built strong momentum in the second part of the year. I have no doubt that Hyundai Motorsport’s technical personnel, along with Cyril, will demonstrate stronger and clearer leadership in the future by co-operating closely with the Global R&D of Hyundai Motor Company.”