Who will drive the third Hyundai i20N in the 2024 World Rally Championship? Hyundai team boss Cyril Abiteboul reveals that “maybe” three drivers will share the cockpit
With Thierry Neuville and Ott Tänak, Hyundai’s two full-time drivers for the 2024 season in the World Rally Championship (WRC) have already been confirmed. However, it is still unclear who will drive the third i20N. Esapekka Lappi will only be in the cockpit at selected events
Hyundai team boss Cyril Abiteboul could not yet say in an interview with Motorsport.com at which events the Finn will drive the third Hyundai, but the Rally Sweden (February 15 to 18, 2024) will be Lappi’s first outing.
“It’s not defined,” reveals Abiteboul. “It’s a reasonable program [for Esapekka], so it’s not just one or two rallies, but it will be shared with other drivers. It’s more than half of all the rallies, the first one will be Sweden, we can already confirm that. “
“Maybe two drivers” in the third Hyundai alongside Lappi?
When asked which driver will take over the third Hyundai if Lappi is not on the grid, Abiteboul replied that there will be “maybe two drivers”. In any case, there is no shortage of options: with Teemu Suninen, Dani Sordo and Emil Lindholm already under contract with Hyundai, there are plenty of options.
There are also a number of candidates outside the team, with Adrien Fourmaux from M-Sport considered a possible contender, while Oliver Solberg is also open to a return to Hyundai should an opportunity arise. “We are not in a position to announce the full line-up right now because we are really not sure and we want to see what the competition looks like,” Abiteboul is honest.
“I believe that Toyota will make an announcement in the near future. If we have that final information before our final decision, that can be a good thing. “
Will Dani Sordo stay with Hyundai in 2024?
Neuville hinted that both Fourmaux and former Hyundai driver and newly crowned WRC2 champion Andreas Mikkelsen would be good options. “I don’t think there are that many contenders anymore,” the Belgian told Motorsport.com. “For me, Andreas is a very good candidate. Fourmaux could be a good candidate and Dani will also drive a few races. “
Sordo hopes to contest a few events with Hyundai next year, with the rally in Portugal at the top of his wish list. The prerequisite is that Hyundai wants to continue with the Spanish rally pro.
“I will try, maybe yes or maybe no” as to whether he will continue with Hyundai next year. “In any case, I don’t want to do my last race here [in Japan]. I don’t think this will be my last race. “