Former Renault F1 team principal Cyril Abiteboul has reportedly been announced as the new team principal for Hyundai Motorsport’s World Rally Championship (WRC) and touring car programmes.
Hyundai has been searching for a new leader since long-time boss Andrea Adamo left the brand last December, with Cyril Abiteboul emerging as a strong candidate for the brand’s new leader.
Cyril Abiteboul will succeed his compatriot Julien Moncet, who has been promoted to de facto leader in the title of deputy team director, formerly one team’s head of powertrain. Moncet said at Rally Japan last month that his future role was unlikely to continue.
Cyril Abiteboul brings a wealth of motorsport experience to the team before rejoining Renault, where he began his career by leading the Caterham F1 team between 2012 and 2014. At Renault, he led the F1 team from 2017 onwards, before saying goodbye before ‘ The team will be rebranded to Alpine in 2021.
Since leaving the F1 team, Cyril Abiteboul has been a motorsport adviser to engine builder Mechachrome, which supplies power units to F2 and F3.
This new position at Hyundai will see Cyril Abiteboul work in rally and touring cars for the first time in his career.
Cyril Abiteboul joins Hyundai after a bittersweet 2022 WRC season which saw the team struggle with the new i20N Rally1 Hybrid and miss out on the drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles.
Hyundai recorded five rally wins despite being up to six months behind its rivals at the start of the year.
Hyundai finished second in the ETCR electric touring car series, while the BRC Elantra NTCR team led Mikel Azcona to the final WTCR title.
Cyril Abiteboul’s first competition will arrive next month when the 2023 WRC season begins in Monte Carlo, with Hyundai’s new driver line-up including Thierry Neuville, Esapekka Lappi, Craig Breen and Dani Sordo expanding.
Category: F1 / WRC (World Rally Championship) / Renault