Abiteboul wonders if Sordo could be faster

He's been a reliable third driver for Hyundai for a number of years now but is there more in the tank for Sordo in 2023?


Hyundai team principal Cyril Abiteboul would like to see a bit more pace from part-time driver Dani Sordo on future rounds of the World Rally Championship.

Sordo is currently sharing a third i20 N Rally1 with Craig Breen alongside full-time team-mates Thierry Neuville and Esapekka Lappi.

The Spaniard has contested two of three events so far this season, with a best finish of fifth on Rally México. Breen, meanwhile, secured second place (equalling Hyundai’s best result of 2023) in Sweden.

Mitigating factors have played into Sordo’s performances though. In Monte Carlo he was hit with a hybrid problem for basically the entire second half of the rally, while in México a puncture cost him a minute and dropped him out of the podium fight.


On both occasions he has still brought home points for Hyundai’s manufacturers championship challenge too, which is the primary role for the team’s third driver.

But Abiteboul, who joined Hyundai at the start of the season, wants to review the team’s expectations of Sordo.

“I am arriving also in the team, so we need to be realistic about what we are expecting from Dani at this point,” Abiteboul told DirtFish. “So, we need to have a look at the situation.

“Having said that, Dani is a fantastic team member, and we know that we can count on him in that particular situation.

“But we need to see if we can also expect a bit more from a pace perspective.”

Sordo, who will be back for Rally Portugal with Breen taking the wheel for this month’s Rally Croatia, seemed to agree with his boss.

“Yeah, it was OK,” Sordo told DirtFish of his Rally México performance.

“Honestly at the end I was a little bit frustrated because I have this rear puncture and for sure we come here with more expectation.


“But for sure, the competition now in front, as you can see, is really, really strong and all the drivers are pushing really good.

“At the end we managed to have the points for the manufacturers and yeah, I’m happy with the car, no problems.

“I think we can do also a good job in Portugal.”