Hyundai World Rally Team Boss Interview

Hyundai World Rally Team Celebrate winning the World Rally Championship

Hyundai World Rally Team Principal Andrea Adamo reflects on a demanding year on-and off-event, acknowledging pivotal moments during the season that have allowed the team to emerge stronger than ever. 

Andrea, where do you begin in summarising this year?

“It has been a tempestuous year and I have to say the world has really changed during the course of 2020. The global situation has touched everybody in different ways, and we’ve had to place human needs first. Firstly, I am proud of my entire team for the manner in which they have dealt with this unprecedented situation. They have been ready to make the most of every opportunity, to do whatever rallies and tests we could, to respond with passion and dedication, and to fight for this second manufacturers’ title. I am humbled by the approach shown by each and every member of our team.”

Looking back to the start of the season, how important was that win in Monte-Carlo?

“My reaction to that victory showed just how emotional that result was, for me personally and for the team. I have special memories of that rally, having followed it closely on the radio and in magazines in my younger years. To be there with my people, and to see Thierry and Nicolas winning, was truly amazing. It was the perfect start to the season.”

There were victories for three of your crews this season, how have they all worked together?

“The best thing about 2020, the biggest asset I can take away from the year, has been the way all of our crews have worked together as a team. They have all shared their impressions and experiences, pulling together in the same direction to a common goal: to improve the car and to build our championship campaign. We had five incredible crews - Thierry/Nicolas, Dani/Carlos, Craig/Paul, Seb/Danos and our newcomers Ott and Martin - all of whom shared key moments, whether wins or podiums, during the season. I am really happy with how they gelled and shared their insight with everyone else; it was a true team effort and I am grateful for their contributions to our title.”

Was there a key moment during the season where the title chase turned around?

“In my opinion, the reason why we have been crowned world champions for a second time comes down to our debrief after Rally México. We had a proper discussion after that event where we put on the table all the things that had not been working. It lasted about five hours. We clearly traced out the ways and areas in which we had to improve, how we could give the crews the car they needed, and the direction we needed to take. It was an open and frank exchange that led to the intense job we did in lockdown and from our home offices to make important steps ahead. We came back in Estonia with a 1-2 that showed the results of that effort.”

How did you manage that difficult lockdown period?

“What everyone saw externally was a team regrouping and pushing hard to get its championship back on track. Beneath the surface, it was a challenging period with a very real personal effect. I had to manage the process of getting people - my people - back to their home countries, keeping everyone calm. We had a lot of internal discussions to keep things going, to stay safe and to make sure we put our colleagues first. It was, and remains, a heart-breaking situation. It’s been a rollercoaster of a year but we hope these recent rallies have given the fans some sort of enjoyment.”

What is next for Hyundai Motorsport in WRC?

“With WRC, we can never stop pushing. It is important to reflect on our achievements, particularly in this challenging year, but we must already turn our attention to 2021 and to Monte-Carlo. We have a plan in place and a schedule to follow; we’ve seen this year that the competition is tremendously close so we can’t rest too much if we want to make it a championship hat-trick next season.”