After taking some time away from motorsport management, former Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul has returned to management with Hyundai Motorsport, who compete in the world rally championship.
The Frenchman became an iconic part in Netflix’s ‘Drive to Survive’, often being found arguing or making subtle digs against Red Bull boss Christian Horner, even bragging to the Brit that he had taken world-class driver Daniel Ricciardo away from him.
If the rumours are true, it might not be too long until Horner and Abiteboul are forced to renew acquaintances, as Hyunadi have been linked to an F1 entry in the past couple of weeks.
The rewrite of the engine regulations in 2026 takes ever power unit manufacturer back to square one, making it the perfect opportunity for a new team to join the grid.
Audi will complete their takeover of Sauber in 2026 for exactly that reason, while the very exciting Andretti-Cadillac project will look to join the sport the same year, should the FIA and F1 agree to expand number of teams on the grid.
When asked about a potential venture into Formula 1 under his leadership, Abiteboul refused to confirm on deny the rumours.
“We don’t have specific plans,” said the 45-year-old.
“Obviously, Hyundai is committed to global development and introduces a new and unique product line, so participation in motorsport is important for us.
“This [world rally championship] is our top priority at the moment. We have to win and ensure that our participation in rally is in the interests of the core business.
“As far as Formula 1 goes, I don’t want to say ‘yes’ because there will be headlines right away that Hyundai is going into Formula 1. First we need to make sure it’s in the business’ best interest to be in a series.”
The first challenge that Abiteboul will face at Hyundai is dethroning Toyota Gazoo Racing, who have won the championship for the past two seasons.
Hyundai Motorsport were the last team to win the world rally championship before Toyota, making a return to winning ways the current priority for the team under their new management.