Former Renault Formula 1 boss Cyril Abiteboul is set to become Hyundai Motorsport’s new team principal, according to reports.
It is reported that Abiteboul will succeed his compatriot Julien Moncet, who ran operations as the team’s assistant manager.
If confirmed and Abiteboul takes the helm, it will be the first time he has worked in the rally and touring car sectors of motorsport, the South Korean team’s two-time World Championship constructors’ champions. rallies.
No stranger to the Formula 1 scene, Abiteboul became a team principal at Caterham in 2012, before returning to former employers Renault in 2014 as the new managing director of their Formula 1 team, later assuming the team leader role.
He will leave when the Enstone outfit undergoes its Alpine transformation from 2021.
Abiteboul has remained heavily involved in motorsport since then, working as a motorsport consultant for Formula 3 and Formula 2 engine supplier Mecachrome.
Abiteboul’s time in Formula 1 was also memorable for the period of rocky relations between Renault and Red Bull as their partnership fell apart, as he also lost a bet with Daniel Ricciardo, resulting in Abiteboul to get a Renault-Honey Badger-themed tattoo after Ricciardo took on Renault. back on the podium of the Eifel Grand Prix 2020.
Could Cyril Abiteboul direct Hyundai to Formula 1?
It’s fascinating that Hyundai appears to have chosen Abiteboul as its new motorsport boss, given that the company operates in areas of motorsport where the Frenchman has no prior experience. Is it his experience in Formula 1 that they are looking for?
Formula 1 is at a point where manufacturer interest is arguably at an all-time high, and why shouldn’t it be? Formula 1 viewing figures are booming, the calendar is getting longer with promoters scrambling to bring the series to their venues, and Formula 1 is heading towards a greener future with more electric power and fully sustainable fuels.
Audi has already signed. The German marque will partner with Sauber from 2026 to create a factory Audi team, with the German marque supplying powertrains, while Porsche also remains interested after talks with Red Bull reached an impasse.
Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali says other manufacturers have their eye on the series, so with Abiteboul at the helm, it wouldn’t be surprising if Hyundai plans to make its debut in Grand Prix racing. .
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