Hyundai’s 2023 driver lineup expected next week

Thierry Neuville is currently the only driver locked in at Hyundai for next year


The identity of Hyundai Motorsport’s 2023 World Rally Championship driver lineup is expected to be announced next week, according to deputy team director Julien Moncet.

Thierry Neuville is currently the only driver officially tied to the team for next season as his full-time 2022 team-mate Ott Tänak has elected to quit his contract one year early, and Oliver Solberg was let go after October’s Rally New Zealand.

Dani Sordo, who has shared a third i20 N Rally1 with Solberg this season, is highly likely to stay however, and DirtFish understands a deal has already been done to poach Esapekka Lappi from Toyota.

Moncet was, of course, unwilling to comment much when asked by DirtFish what he could say about Lappi, but did suggest that the driver lineup is almost decided.

“Well for sure Ott leaving is definitely a loss, he’s a strong character but he’s a very talented driver – one of the best ones now – so to replace him will be very difficult,” Moncet told DirtFish.

“I don’t want to say impossible because nobody can’t be replaced but, let’s be honest, it will be very difficult. Whoever will take over his position next year will have a hard challenge.

“Regarding your questions about Lappi and all the other names you could mention, you will have to wait a little bit. Right now we are focusing on Japan and hopefully in the week after Japan we will be in a position to announce something.”

Hyundai always hoped it could keep hold of Tänak for at least the duration of his contract which ran into 2023, but Moncet also revealed that he knew before Rally Spain that Tänak had decided to leave.


The announcement came hours after the conclusion of round 12.

“I knew before Spain,” said Moncet when asked if Tänak’s exit was a surprise.

“Of course there was a lot of rumors and so on, but you always hope. We really wanted to continue with him so it’s a bit of a bad surprise, but we knew before Spain yeah, even if I did not tell you!

Tänak, who hadn’t spoken to the English-speaking media since his decision, described it as “never an easy decision” but wouldn’t be drawn on his WRC future.


“The final decision was obviously very late but altogether the year has been long and a lot of things have been happening, you know, so quite stressful in a way,” he told DirtFish.

“But yeah, in the end, that was the call.”

Neuville was asked for his thoughts on who would partner him next season, and initially told DirtFish: “I have no thoughts”.

But he added: “Obviously the departure of Ott has been confirmed.

“We knew that the risk was high that he was going to leave the team, which obviously I think for all of us is disappointing news but I can understand him as well, so that’s what makes it a bit more complicated for us now, but the team is working on it.

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“I don’t know the secrets and I don’t know my team-mates next year except Dani.”

For his part, Sordo told DirtFish: “I don’t know what I will do next year.”

When pressed if he would do eight rounds if asked, as has been reported in the Spanish media, he replied: “Yeah why not? Let’s see.”