Wed 08 Nov 2023

Abiteboul: “Ott could be our Max”

Cyril Abiteboul is hoping that Ott Tänak can bring some Max Verstappen-style dominance to Hyundai Motorsport when he re-joins the FIA World Rally Championship squad in 2024.

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.


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