Motorsport.com sources understand Abiteboul has emerged as the successful candidate after the brand’s lengthy search for a new leader.
Hyundai has been searching for a new leader since long-time boss Andrea Adamo left the South Korean marque in December last year.
The Frenchman will effectively take over from countryman Julien Moncet, the team’s former powertrain boss, who was promoted as defacto leader under the deputy team director title. Moncet indicated at Rally Japan last month that his future in the role was unlikely to continue.
Abiteboul joins the team with a wealth of motorsport experience having led the Caterham F1 team from 2012-2014 before rejoining Renault where he began his career. At the French brand, Abiteboul worked his way up to lead its F1 team from 2017 before parting ways ahead of the squad’s rebrand to Alpine in 2021.
Since leaving the F1 team, Abiteboul has been working in a motorsport advisor role for engine builder Mecachrome, which supplies power units to Formula 2 and Formula 3.
This new position at Hyundai will see Abiteboul work in rallying and touring cars for the first time in his career.
Abiteboul joins Hyundai after a bittersweet 2022 WRC season which resulted in the team missing out on both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles after the difficult birth of its new i20 N Rally1 hybrid.
Despite being up to six months behind its opposition at the start of the year, Hyundai scored five rally wins, the most it has ever scored in a single WRC season.
Hyundai finished second in the ETCR all electric touring car series, while its BRC team run Elantra N TCR guided Mikel Azcona to the final WTCR crown.
Abiteboul’s first competitive outing in charge will arrive next month when the 2023 WRC season begins on Monte Carlo, with Hyundai deploying a new driver line-up including Thierry Neuville, Esapekka Lappi, Craig Breen and Dani Sordo.