Mikkelsen has cash to invest in WRC future

The Norwegian wants to return with a top team in 2021, despite few vacancies

Andreas Mikkelsen

Andreas Mikkelsen has told DirtFish he has cash to invest in getting his World Rally Championship career back on track.

The 30-year-old was dropped by Hyundai at the end of last season, and is currently biding his time as he waits for the right opportunity to return to the sharp end of the WRC pack. And he’s adamant he’s still got what it takes to return to the Sébastien Ogier-beating form he demonstrated at Rally Australia back in 2016.

“There’s no way I’m giving up on this,” he told DirtFish. “No way. Of course I want to come back. The last couple of years were difficult with Hyundai results-wise and for me with the car. But I know I can still do it and I know I have a lot to offer.”

With most WRC seats locked down into next season, Mikkelsen knows it’s going to be hard to find a way back. He also knows backing should help that process.

Andreas Mikkelsen

“I do have money to invest in my career,” he said. “But I won’t pay for a drive if I don’t see a way forward with that car or that team. I am willing to invest if there’s a future there – there must be some kind of an opening. It’s not easy to rent a car right now, so maybe we wait until next year and be ready for 2022.

“It would be fantastic to see some more manufacturers coming in 2022 to bring some more seats, because it’s sure that right now there are not so many seats around. But, if it’s not this year or next year for me then I can be ready for 2022.”

Mikkelsen joined Hyundai towards the end of the 2017 season to boost team-mate Thierry Neuville’s title aspirations. But despite leading rallies, he scored just three podiums in two years for Hyundai as driver error and a lack of feeling for the i20 Coupe WRC hampered him.

Asked about his last year in a Hyundai, Mikkelsen said: “It’s very clear the Hyundai is a car made for Thierry Neuville. It was a tricky car for me to drive, especially on Tarmac. But I take some confidence from knowing that I adopted my style from Sébastien Ogier and he adopted his style from Sébastien Loeb – and when Loeb came to Hyundai he was struggling to drive it on Tarmac as well.

“Give me a car that turns in [well] and I will be right back there.”