Hyundai’s deputy team director Julien Moncet wants to bring any speculation of disharmony within Hyundai to a close in the wake of recent comments from his drivers.
After winning back-to-back World Rally Championship events, Ott Tänak said to DirtFish that Moncet was not the man to become the permanent replacement to Andrea Adamo as team principal, particularly when he still has powertrain responsibilities at present.
“He’s a great guy doing the engine,” Tänak said, but conceded “no, that man is not Julien Moncet” when asked about who should fulfil the team principal position.
Moncet got to respond to that comment publicly ahead of the Acropolis Rally, and told DirtFish: “At least I’m a genius somewhere [in the engine department]! It’s not the kind of comment that you like to see, and these kinds of things, we should keep them internally.”
There were some other small remarks by Tänak and team-mate Thierry Neuville during Ypres Rally Belgium that also were not so complimentary of each other, which Moncet said the drivers need to be careful of.
It was ultimately chalked up as a misunderstanding, but any public fall-out is the last thing Hyundai needs as it builds up some competitive momentum.
“I think Thierry made a comment first, with no intention. You have always to be very careful of what you say straight after a stage. They are high-level professional drivers and they have a high ego, yes sometimes, but they had a chat all together and they sorted it out so for me the incident is closed.”
Moncet also shared his surprise to read in the press reports that he has resigned from his current position at Hyundai.
Speculation has mounted that former McLaren racing director Eric Boullier could be set to take the team principal role, but Moncet insisted there is no change regarding the position.
“I have seen some times, a few days ago [these stories], I have not resigned,” Moncet said.
“So I’m not aware where this is coming from but I was a bit surprised reading these kinds of things. The situation is still the same. I’m still the deputy team principal and we go on like that.
“And then when it will be decided whether it is me or someone else, first of all I have no idea about the planning and I can not tell you who, when, whatever, it’s not up to me to answer.”