“We can have even 14 drivers!” – Hyundai’s driver update

Deputy team director Julien Moncet explains Hyundai's approach to filling its Rally1 cars for 2023

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Hyundai Motorsport’s deputy team director Julien Moncet remains tight-lipped on who will drive for the team in next year’s World Rally Championship, but hinted that all options remain open when he joked it could even run 14 drivers – one for each round – in one car.

Ever since Hyundai decided to part ways with Oliver Solberg in early October, it’s been in need of at least one driver for one of its i20 N Rally1s.

But the suspicion had been that it would need more given Ott Tänak’s very clear dissatisfaction with life at Hyundai – an exit that was confirmed just hours after Rally Spain concluded on Sunday.

Speaking to DirtFish during the weekend before Tänak’s departure was confirmed, Moncet admitted “for sure we are always talking” with drivers – describing this situation as normal – but wasn’t prepared to reveal the identity of any potential candidates.

“You will not get any more info from me right now,” he said. “You have to wait for Monte Carlo!”

While there are currently only three works teams and that means seats are considered to be at a premium for drivers in the WRC, Hyundai has set itself a difficult criteria since the Solberg announcement in its desire to only run seasoned campaigners.

“Yeah, so you can try to guess, [but] as you say the list is maybe not that long,” Moncet added.

“So you can make some bets, but definitely we look for experienced drivers. Reliable, that can work well with engineers, with the team as well.

“It’s important as that fits to the brand, so many things that we look at. And of course, he has to be fast.

“But yeah, it’s a short list, and I’m sure you have already some ideas. Maybe these are correct, maybe not.”

DirtFish understands Andreas Mikkelsen is all but confirmed to be heading back to the team he drove for in the latter part of 2017 and the entire 2018 and ’19 seasons.


There are several other drivers have been linked to a seat too with varying degrees of sincerity, including Kris Meeke, Hyundai WRC2 driver Teemu Suninen, former Hyundai driver Hayden Paddon and even M-Sport’s Craig Breen.

Current Hyundai driver Dani Sordo isn’t (publicly at least) sure of his future yet either, so represents yet another potential curveball in this developing mix.

Ever since 2018 when Sordo shared an i20 Coupe WRC with Paddon, Hyundai has run one of its three allotted manufacturer car as a multi-driver entry, with two pilots interchanging throughout the season.

Asked if two was the limit or if Hyundai could even run three drivers for one car, Moncet smiled: “We can have even 14 drivers!

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“No, after you have to see as well, it’s a mix between choosing the best capabilities of every driver for every type of rallies.

“Some rallies are more Tarmac or some are gravel or some they are slightly slower, so we have to see that, but you cannot have too many reserves because you have to get some mileage, testing days are limited and if you just jump into the car you will do nothing. So we have to find the right balance as well.”

Thierry Neuville stands as the only driver confirmed to drive for Hyundai in 2023, and has been the manufacturer’s longest serving star as he joined the team back when it joined the WRC in 2014.