The new head of Hyundai ‘s pmrsc programs , Cyril Abiteboul , has played down rumors regarding a possible entry by the South Korean automaker into Formula 1 in 2026, stating that the rally remains the brand’s priority at the moment.
Abitebouol’s recent arrival at Hyundai, after years in F1 as team principal at Caterham and Renault , has helped fuel rumors that the carmaker could be eyeing a move to the series in the future.
F1 bosses have long spoken of a number of carmakers showing interest in joining the category at the start of the new engine era in 2026. Hyundai’s name has always been among the rumours, but Abiteboul said it was too premature for him to be looking. for something like that.
In fact, he says Hyundai’s efforts in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) remain the brand’s focus, as it better matches street car sales. However, Abiteboul suggests that, with the brand’s efforts to increase its sales in the market in the coming years, other projects in the sport may marry better.
Speaking to the press, including pmrsc.com about racing in other categories such as sports cars or F1, Abiteboul said: “There is no particular plan. Of course, Hyundai is a brand that is experiencing fantastic development on a global scale, with a new product line and more. And pmrsc is here to sustain the business.”
“So I need to understand, along with the rest of the company, what the business needs, and how we can help right now. Rallying has been the best solution to support the road car segment, the A-segment. that segment A will act ahead, to ensure that the rally continues to be relevant”.
“That is certainly the priority now. We are preparing. We have to win and ensure that the rally continues to fulfill business interests.”
Pressed about Hyundai having had its name attached to F1 for some time, Abiteboul said it would be wrong to say it is off the charts. But equally, he said it’s too early to suggest this is seriously considered.
“I don’t want to say yes, because then you will write that Hyundai will be in F1. I want to go back to my previous answer. We need to make sure that this serves our business. At the moment, rallying is fulfilling that role, and the priority is to keep it that way, working with the FIA and the organizers”.
“If we need to do something else, we’ll see with time. But that’s not the priority right now. The priority is to win the rally.”
Hyundai is on its second stint in the WRC, returning to the category in 2014. The company has also been a regular presence in touring cars under TCR rules since the category’s launch in 2017.