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Rallying Remains Primary Focus for Hyundai as Abiteboul Denies Formula 1 Rumours

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Credit: Austral /Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

Hyundai Motorsport’s primary focus remains the FIA World Rally Championship despite rumours about them potentially joining the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, according to the recently appointed Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul.

It has been Abiteboul’s appointment has fuelled the rumours of Hyundai joining Formula 1, with the Frenchman having been Team Principal of both the Caterham F1 Team and Renault F1 Team during his spell in the sport.

New engine regulations for the 2026 has seen multiple manufacturers from around the globe be linked with joining the Formula 1 grid, but Abiteboul insists that Hyundai are not currently looking into this and will remain focused primarily on getting everything right in rallying.

“There is no particular plan,” Abiteboul is quoted as saying by  “Clearly, Hyundai is a company that is hot for a fantastic development at a global scale, with a new product line-up, a unique range and so on and so forth. And motorsport is here to support the business.

“So I need to understand, with the rest of the company, what the business needs, and how we can support it right now.  Rally has been the best solution in order to support small segment cars, segment A.

“We need also to see how segment A is going to move, moving ahead, and make sure that rally remains relevant to that.  That certainly is the priority right now. We are getting ready. We must win and make sure that rally keeps on serving the interests of the business.”

Abiteboul refused to be pushed into saying that Hyundai are interested in joining Formula 1, and he insists it would need to be in the best interests of the South Korean car manufacturer to do so.

“I don’t want to say yes, because then you’re going to elaborate that Hyundai is going to F1,” Abiteboul added.  “I want to go back to my previous answer.

“We need to make sure it serves the business. Right now, rally is serving the business, and the priority is to make sure that it stays like that, working with the FIA and the promoters.

“If we need to do something else, in addition, we will see it in due course. But that’s not the priority for now. The priority is winning in rally.”

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