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  1. #181
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    On first thought it is surprising. But on second thought it would actually make a lot of sense.
    Hyundai has seen after first rallies that they have a car capable of winning manu champ, but Paddon seems out of form.
    So hiring Mikkelsen as 2nd driver and switching Paddon and Sordo on gravel/tarmac would maximize their chances.

    That said no contract is signed. Hearing Mikkelsen, it seems he wants a multi-year deal. Signals from Toyota are quite mixed and Citroen's program/plans has been strange for quite a while so anything can happen. The only team out of question is definitely Ford, pretty sure they have enough issues with finding money for Ogier+car development and desperate in trying to keep him for more than 1 year.
    Interesting times anyway.

  2. #182
    Senior Member Fast Eddie WRC's Avatar
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    Hyundai have been in the WRC for a while but with little real success. So it's strange now that they didnt go for Ogier, believing their existing line-up was already strong enough. But they now possibly concede they need Mikkelsen...

    Either they made a big mistake not going for Ogier or their drivers have let them down and the bosses have lost patience/confidence in them.

  3. #183
    Senior Member Sulland's Avatar
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    I am guessing Sordo will retire WRC after 2017. He has driven since 2006, and 12 years at top level is a long time!
    Rallye-info.com

  4. #184
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    The rumors of Andreas Mikkelsen's test with Hyundai this week in Portugal were confirmed by the brand.

    Hyundai Motorsport source confirmed to SportMotores.com the test of the Norwegian driver next Friday but ruled out there is more to the future.

    "This is a one-off test because we are interested in having a different point of view from one of the WRC's leading drivers on our 2017 car. And Andreas Mikkelsen is currently on the market and free to do this Test, "explained Nicoletta Russo.

    "We've been in touch with him since the end of last year, and we've managed to find this date to try out the car that fits well with our test program and its commitments," said Hyundai Motorsport Communications Manager.

    In closing, he made it a point to stress "our drivers are and continue to be Dani Sordo, Thierry Neuville and Hayden Paddon."

    This test with Hyundai is a big surprise, as the rumors in recent days pointed to two possible scenarios: One was the entry into Toyota to replace the poorly productive Juho Hanninen; Another was a new private team that Nasser Al-Attiyah would be trying to set up this year, and would feature Mikkelsen as a team-mate.

    (translated by google)

    http://sportmotores.com/portal/!site...20055&id=48263
    Three gears are enough!

  5. Likes: A FONDO (19th April 2017)
  6. #185
    Senior Member BigWorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sulland View Post
    I am guessing Sordo will retire WRC after 2017. He has driven since 2006, and 12 years at top level is a long time!
    He is under contract for 2018

  7. #186
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    Crazy situation really with Mikkelsen. Today we have the story in MN saying Andreas is close to joining Toyota. But with pretty vague sources/info.

    Then yesterday obviously the Hyundai story. The Toyota one was written first as it had to go to print a few day ago. It seems Andreas is in negotiations with both and they need to work now to get the extra car in place. Although I still think Toyota could still sideline Lappi later this year - something that the MN article referenced.

    Who knows? Clearly a lot of talks behind the scenes. Also potentially a bit awkward for Evans having two stories in two days saying Mikkelsen is joining two different teams.
    My rally photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/94998505@N03/albums

  8. #187
    Senior Member AnttiL's Avatar
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    Well, Mikkelsen stated earlier that he is negotiating with all teams so there isn't really any wrong information

  9. #188
    Senior Member BigWorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AL14 View Post
    It's more likely to see them two cooperating for the team since they are close friends.
    But it could add some tension in the team which no one wants. They're pretty identical in terms of pace so probably none of them would like to play second fiddle.

  10. #189
    Senior Member AnttiL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigWorm View Post
    They're pretty identical in terms of pace so probably none of them would like to play second fiddle.
    I would guess Neuville would have a big advance by having rallied more in WRC 2017 specs and been longer in the team.

  11. #190
    Senior Member BigWorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnttiL View Post
    I would guess Neuville would have a big advance by having rallied more in WRC 2017 specs and been longer in the team.
    This season, naturally. But should they be teammates in the future.

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