From F1 to WRC: Why Hyundai's new boss could be an inspired signing
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From F1 to WRC: Why Hyundai's new boss could be an inspired signing

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OPINION: New Hyundai WRC team boss Cyril Abiteboul admits he’s got a lot to learn as he leads the marque's efforts to dethrone Toyota. But could his Formula 1 experience and evident strengths mean he turns out to be an inspired choice?

On paper, Hyundai’s appointment of Cyril Abiteboul as team principal of its World Rally Championship squad seems a strange decision, but it could be the change of leadership it required. The Frenchman has spent the majority of his career in Formula 1, as team principal at Caterham before snaring the top role at Renault until it rebranded to Alpine in 2021. But by his own admission, he is new to rallying and has a lot to learn about the discipline.

For a team desperate to return to the top of the WRC pyramid, it seems odd to hire someone with no rally experience. In the past, team bosses have transferred from rallying to F1 – think Jean Todt (Peugeot to Ferrari in 1994) and more recently Jost Capito, who enjoyed roles at McLaren (2016) and more recently Williams until the end of last year after guiding the dominant Volkswagen WRC team. But few have gone the other direction.

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