Hyundai denies WRC team status controversy over Sordo nomination

Hyundai World Rally Championship team principal Michel Nandan has warned against creating a team status controversy over the decision to put forward Dani Sordo as its 'nominated driver' for 2016

Hyundai denies WRC team status controversy over Sordo nomination

FIA regulations stipulate that each registered WRC manufacturer must give the name of one driver who will tackle at least 10 of the 14 rounds.

Hyundai went with Sordo over Thierry Neuville, who finished 2015 as the Korean firm's top scorer and had begun the year as its official number one driver.

Neuville was later demoted as his form deteriorated, but he has been retained alongside Sordo and Hayden Paddon for 2016, when the team launches its new generation i20 WRC.

"Whichever driver we would have nominated, there would have been talk and rumour about the why and because and some people would not like the choice whatever it was," Nandan told Motorsport News.

"I want to underline once again there is no number one driver in our team and we plan to give equal treatment to get the best out of our drivers on each event."

Some in the team felt Paddon should have received the official nomination, having outscored his more experienced team-mates from Italy onwards last season.

But Nandan said Sordo's experience was key. The Spaniard has started more WRC rounds at 128 than Neuville's 58 and Paddon's 47 combined.

"Dani is the most experienced driver of our line-up, he is consistent and fast, and for looking at the manufacturers' title it was a good choice to makem" said Nandan.

"That doesn't mean Thierry and Hayden will not run 14 events or they are less valued in the team.

"A lot of people are speculating too much about this topic.

"For us it was really a matter of complying with FIA regulations."

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