The newly-crowned two-time WRC2 champion is set to make his first top-level WRC start since 2019, after electing to rejoin Hyundai – the team he competed for from 2017-2019.
Mikkelsen is one of three drivers to share Hyundai’s third i20 entry this year, alongside Esapekka Lappi and Dani Sordo, while Thierry Neuville and Ott Tanak will pilot the team’s other two entries.
However, this wasn’t the Norwegian’s only offer for 2024. Mikkelsen revealed to Motorsport.com that he had an opportunity to join M-Sport on a full-time basis for this season.
M-Sport has since announced that it will field entries for Adrien Fourmaux and Gregoire Munster this year.
Explaining the decision, Mikkelsen said that Hyundai’s long-term vision and its recent management restructure under new boss Cyril Abiteboul played a significant role in him opting to re-join Hyundai.
Hyundai’s recent recruitment drive last year included the signing of former Williams Formula 1 and Volkswagen WRC technical director Francois-Xavier Demaison – whom Mikkelsen previously worked alongside at Volkswagen, where he scored his three WRC wins.
“I see more future here [at Hyundai]. I think Hyundai is really properly in the WRC,” Mikkelsen told Motorsport.com.
“Ford is half in I would say, and we all know this that it is Malcolm [Wilson] and his team and he gets some budget with Ford, and it is hard to say what the future is there.
Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool
Andreas Mikkelsen, Torstein Eriksen, Toksport WRT 3 Skoda Fabia Evo Rally2
“We could have had a full programme at M-Sport. You have to think about your options and also long-term and when you see the people now at Hyundai with Cyril and FX, whom I know very well at Volkswagen, these are people that I trust. So not only looking at this year I think it is a better choice for me at Hyundai.
“For me, it is a one-year contract, but I hope if I deliver well there could be more. I think that would be natural.”
Mikkelsen is expected to make his WRC Rally1 hybrid competitive debut at the 2024 Monte Carlo season opener from 25-28 January.
“The thing that is good about starting with Monte is you don’t need to be 100% with the car there to deliver a good result because there are so many other factors,” he added. “I’m happy I’m starting at Monte even though it is very difficult.”