Sat 07 Oct 2023

Abiteboul: “Consistency must be our immediate priority”

Hyundai Motorsport team principal Cyril Abiteboul says losing this year’s FIA World Rally Championship Manufacturers’ title to Toyota Gazoo Racing will spur the Alzenau squad on to greater things next season.

Hyundai hasn’t lifted a WRC title since 2021, but after congratulating his rival, Abiteboul was clear they would be very much in the Korean firm’s sights next year.

He said: “Firstly, congratulations to Toyota on their manufacturers’ title win today. They completely deserve it, and it serves as an inspiration for what we need to achieve over the winter to be back on a charge next year.”

Reflecting on the most recent WRC round, last week’s Rally Chile Bio Bío – and accidents for two of the team’s three drivers – Abiteboul added: “On our side, we once again showed some strong performance in Chile. There was some very good driving by Thierry [Neuville] and Teemu [Suninen] over the weekend, with some great decisions from the team when the tyre situation became tricky. 

“However, there were also some very disappointing moments, when Esapekka [Lappi] retired in the first kilometres and Teemu in the last kilometres of the rally. 

“Eliminating mistakes and improving our overall consistency must be our immediate priority as we head towards the final two rallies of the season.”

Hyundai has, of course, strengthened its squad for next year with the returning Ott Tänak. The Estonian has already made clear his intentions for 2024.

The 2019 world champion said: “Our goal in this new chapter will be nothing less than to win all the three titles, and with the new structure of the team, we have all the tools needed to achieve it.” 

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM