Thirty-six-year-old Tänak has agreed a deal to return to the Alzenau-based squad next season having previously departed the team at the end of 2022 to drive an M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 in this year’s championship.
Abiteboul, who was appointed as Hyundai Motorsport’s team principal in January, has not yet worked directly with Tänak - but the ex-Formula 1 team boss has high hopes for his Estonian signing.
“In my own history in motorsport,” Abiteboul said, “I’ve always been inspired by the organisations that are all about a winning strategy, and everything is driven by the results. I’m thinking about Red Bull and, frankly, if Ott was in Formula 1, I am pretty sure that he would be driving for Red Bull Racing.
“That’s the inspiration that I want to carry for Hyundai – I would like that we can be the Red Bull Racing of the WRC, and Ott could be our Max [Verstappen].”
Tänak achieved nine victories whilst employed by the Korean marque between 2020 and 2022. In 2019 he claimed his sole WRC title so far with rival team Toyota.