Abiteboul: We won’t spend one euro testing a Rally1 alternative

Hyundai is 100% committed to the current regulations remaining in place next season

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Hyundai team principal Cyril Abiteboul has talked DirtFish through the thinking behind his team’s plans not to prepare for anything other than a continuation of current regulations for next season.

The teams will all learn of their fate on June 11, when the World Motor Sport Council votes on recommendations for the 2025 and 2026 regulations. With no contingency plan in place, Abiteboul admitted the decision going in favour of a modified Rally1 car would have a significant impact on the Frankfurt-based squad.

“Let’s be honest,” he said, “[it would impact] massively. But we really don’t have the resources or the appetite to cover all possible bases.

“So rather than trying to do a bit of everything – which is never good in motorsport – we’ve decided consciously to make an assumption and to focus 100% of our resources on it (the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid].

“This means that we are not spending one euro, one hour of design office time or one kilometre of test time in relation to the alternative regulation.”

Abiteboul’s policy flies in the face of Toyota’s approach, with the GR Yaris Rally1 and Rally2 being modified and run ahead of last month’s Croatia Rally.

The Frenchman added: “I think everyone has seen that Toyota has been experimenting with the regulation. Yes, we’ve run a bit of simulation, but that’s it. Absolutely no physical testing, no car production whatsoever. And we have no intent to change.”


Toyota has already tested modified versions of both its Rally1 and Rally2 car in readiness for the differeing potential regulatory outcomes

All three manufacturers in the championship signed a letter to request an extension of the current regulations through to the end of 2026. Next month’s WMSC will reveal if they have been successful.

Abiteboul added: “We made quite a brave – and that can be a very dangerous – decision to assume a certain set of regulations for next year and to develop a technical strategy according to what we assume will happen. It is what it is.

“We may be proven wrong. If that happens, we will be clearly on the back foot for next year. But right now, with that assumption, we know exactly what to do and we are in the process of doing it.”