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Abiteboul sheds gentle on Lappi’s WRC future at Hyundai

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The Korean marque had made a daring assertion forward of subsequent season by re-signing 2019 world champion Ott Tanak to hitch the already contracted Thierry Neuville

Hyundai is but to announce its plans for its full driver line-up for 2024 because the group continues to guage whether or not to subject three automobiles or broaden to 4 i20Ns. As Abiteboul has defined, the group will make its determination in a “well-considered method” within the coming weeks with a name anticipated earlier than Rally Japan subsequent month.

Hyundai at present has Lappi, Dani Sordo, Teemu Suninen and Emil Lindholm on its books, the latter two being a part of Hyundai’s relaunched driver growth programme.

Ought to the group choose to run three automobiles, then there’s the potential of persevering with its technique of sharing the automotive between two drivers. This might supply the prospect of Lappi and Suninen sharing the automotive, whereas the group has already earmarked {that a} doable fourth automotive could be designated for a younger driver.

Lappi has impressed this season having left a part-time driving function at Toyota to fill Hyundai’s second full-time season that was vacated by Tanak following the Estonian’s determination to hitch M-Sport for 2023.

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Lappi has scored 4 podiums up to now and has performed a major function in creating the i20N which has benefitted Neuville. 

Requested if Lappi was a driver he wish to hold within the group shifting ahead, Abiteboul instructed Autosport: “I believe what we like particularly is Esapekka’s dedication to enhance the automotive. 

Cyril Abiteboul, Workforce principal Hyundai World Rally Workforce

Photograph by: Vincent Thuillier / Hyundai Motorsport

“I believe Thierry could be very robust and has a really robust opinion of what he needs, however to a sure diploma when you will have been 10 years in the identical group you battle to convey up new concepts and ideas. And that’s completely regular and it isn’t a criticism of Thierry, and that is an space the place Esapekka could be very robust. 

“He has are available with a recent pair of eyes and perspective and alternative ways of establishing the automotive, and that has been very helpful. 

“I believe we’re all eager to see how we are able to broaden the collaboration with Esapekka. However with out going into an excessive amount of element, there are lots of issues happening his facet over the past couple of months, so once more we are going to take a little bit of time to see what’s the smartest thing for him and us shifting ahead.

“I’ve been very clear with Esapekka in addition to Thierry they usually perceive why we’re doing what we’re doing.”

Abiteboul went on to verify that the prospect of working a fourth automotive is within the fingers of Hyundai administration on the producer’s headquarters.

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“The fourth automotive consideration is a method to consider the mid to long-term future however once more that’s one thing we have to focus on with the headquarters,” Abiteboul added.

“I’ve been saying on a few events that we additionally wish to convey up younger expertise and that can take a while. 

“Clearly bringing again Ott just isn’t precisely younger expertise that’s for positive so that’s the reason wish to spend money on younger expertise with a fourth automotive, however once more this might should be accepted.”

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