Hyundai will start the 2019 World Rally Championship season with an unchanged line-up, regardless of hypothesis that Sebastien Loeb has signed for the squad.

Thierry Neuville, Andreas Mikkelsen and Dani Sordo will drive a trio of i20 Coupe WRCs at spherical one in Monte Carlo, however a choice about who replaces Sordo for Rally Sweden might be delayed till after Monte.

Hayden Paddon is at the moment well-placed to retain his part-season shared drive with Sordo.

Crew supervisor Alain Penasse mentioned Hyundai had spoken to Loeb, who’s unlikely to drive for Citroen in 2019 after it did not safe backing for a 3rd automotive, however denied a deal had already been performed.

“We talked to him like we talked to all people,” he instructed Autosport. “That’s logical in our place.

“However I do not perceive the place all of the fuss got here from. There was a narrative within the media about Loeb not being picked up by Citroen – I do not know why that is – and all people picked up on it.

“I do not know what he is doing. Is he doing rallycross? I do not know.

“We all know what will probably be our group in Monte, there will not be a shock right here.”

Requested about Paddon, who completed fourth or increased on 4 of his remaining 5 rallies in 2018, Penasse added: “After Rally Australia he is in pole place for the seat.

“There was speak about us speaking to [Elfyn] Evans and [Craig] Breen, however this has probably not gone any additional.

“Hayden did every little thing we requested of him this season, he had a extremely good 12 months.

“It is troublesome for Hayden to remain concentrated due to all these things about him dropping his seat.

“I perceive the media has a job to do, however, truthfully, some individuals are making some issues up they usually even start to imagine their very own tales!

“An instance of that is our journey to Korea. We had this journey deliberate for months, to take 151 employees from Hyundai Motorsport out to see our colleagues in Korea. Then instantly this has grow to be some type of debrief in regards to the season.

“That is the traditional life, however some individuals are eager to make extra of it.”

Hyundai group principal Michel Nandan has constantly talked of repeating this 12 months’s cut up programme between Sordo and Paddon.

Paddon desires to return to a full-season schedule as quickly as doable, however instructed Autosport his precedence was to remain at Hyundai.

“I really feel we did an excellent job this 12 months and tried our greatest to work with the group and ensure we introduced residence stable outcomes on every rally,” mentioned Paddon.

“The 2 rallies the place there was rather less stress to only end, the place we may concentrate on efficiency [in Portugal and Australia], we have been mixing it on the entrance.

“That is one thing I do know we will do extra usually.

“Naturally, I wish to be doing a full season once more and I nonetheless again myself to attain rather more within the WRC, however I am additionally real looking in what choices we presently have.”



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