Retaining Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville was the number one choice for Hyundai Motorsport, with team principal Andrea Adamo not even contacting any other drivers in the service park.
In a typically no-nonsense discussion, Adamo explained the thinking behind his early season move to bag both drivers to DirtFish.
“Act early,” he said, “act before everybody else and you can f*** the rest [of the teams]. No… when I looked at the rest of this year, it’s going to be so busy and I didn’t want to be thinking and stressing about my drivers.
“We have rallies, we have testing and more testing, it’s going to be a lot of heat, discussing contracts would be a waste of this time when we had the chance to do it early. So to have these things done is very good.
The longer you have people working together the better they can gel. This is what we are findingAndrea Adamo
“This was, for me, the number one choice. This was what I wanted. I don’t see the point to change the team just for the sake of changing the team. The longer you have people working together the better they can gel. This is what we are finding.
“Now we have four years – including this one – and everything is sealed.”
With no disclosure of the precise details of Neuville and Tänak’s new contracts, DirtFish asked if that meant both were part of that ‘sealed’ deal until the end of 2024.
“We haven’t discussed how long they will be with us, but we can say it like this – I won’t be worrying about [drivers] for a few years…”
The only remaining question about the 2022 line-up is who joins the Estonian and Belgian? For the first time since he arrived as team principal in 2019, Adamo hinted he could run a full-time third driver.
“You don’t have to stick with your decision all of the time,” he said. “Just because a decision works in 2019, it doesn’t mean it’s definitely the right decision for 2022.”
Hyundai currently has Craig Breen, Dani Sordo, Oliver Solberg, Pierre-Louis Loubet, Jari Huttunen and Ole Christian Veiby on its books for this season. Of those, only the 19-year-old Solberg is understood to have a contract going beyond the end of this season.