The Hyundai boss had remained largely silent following the FIA’s reveal of a raft of proposals to improve the WRC in February.

However, the former Renault Formula 1 boss has now shared his frustrations over the proposals, which has already forced the team to scrap its investment into planned 2025 developments for its i20N Rally1 car. Abiteboul says the updates have been rendered redundant by the technical changes put forward for next year.

The technical changes proposed for next season will ensure the current Rally1 car will no longer see out its original homologation from 2022-2026. Hybrid power will be removed from car amid yet to be defined changes to aerodynamics and the air restrictor to bring the performance closer to Rally2 cars. An upgrade kit, costing around €5,000, will be made available for Rally2 competitors who wish to challenge the Rally1 cars at events in a bid to increase the top-level entry list.

The wide-ranging list of proposals, including new Rally1 regulations for 2025 and 2027, is set to be voted on by the World Motor Sport Council in June, which has left WRC teams concerned by the tight timeframe to complete the work required to be ready for next year.

“We are here but we are here to be able to win and that is as much as I can say,” Abiteboul told

“I want to get to the bottom of these regulations, and the one thing I must say, what we need is confirmation of regulations. We are now in the time of uncertainty, and uncertainty is not good for anyone.

“One of the things we are trying to do is to build a plan in advance, which Hyundai was not very good at in the past, so for once we have a new team and technical leadership and was pushing hard to have a very well- structured technical project, and that has been brought down by a regulator’s decision.

Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal Hyundai World Rally Team

Photo by: Fabien Dufour / Hyundai Motorsport

“It is vital that we have very quick rules ratified by the World Motor Sport Council so that we can simply work towards these regulations. For me, the timing of June is simply not possible for us to be able to do a good job for next year.

“I’m sure, if the FIA ​​needs a quicker decision, I’m very confident they can find ways. They must appreciate that a ratification of rules in June for a car that needs to be designed, tested and validated for January, it is not a lot of time to design, build, test and validate.

“We are talking about substantial changes to the car and the power and weight distribution and aerodynamic behavior, and the change to the wing is not a small change. I don’t want to put a figure on it, but it is a huge change. I know we are not in Formula 1, but aero in rally still matters and we are talking about balance shifts, and we need to do a good job around it. There are guidelines but now we need rules and as quickly as possible.”

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Abiteboul also confirmed that it would be very difficult for Hyundai to salvage any of its work from its now canned project for next year. He intends to continue discussions with the FIA ​​regarding its plans for Rally1 in 2025 and 2026.

“The changes we were contemplating were fairly vast and I suspect will be difficult to inject,” he added.

“It will be very difficult for us to carry over some of the work we have done which is the investment Hyundai has decided to make to motorsport. There is a disappointment at a sporting level but there is a frustration from a corporate perspective to have invested financial resources into a project that will not exist.

“But, again the governing body is the FIA, and I understand that at some point they need to be making some decisions.

“We have not come to that conclusion yet [on 2025 and 2026 rules] we are working and engaging with the FIA. We are still trying to get our voice heard in any of the meetings we are participating, and there are meetings, so let’s see the conclusion of that process.

“We need very swift conclusion to the process, otherwise it is going to end up in a very difficult situation for all of us.”

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