Hyundai has confirmed Andreas Mikkelsen will join the team for the remaining three rallies of the 2017 WRC season ahead of an expected full 2018 campaign with the Korean marque.
The Norwegian replaces Hayden Paddon at the Rally of Spain next month and is expected to take Dani Sordo’s car for Rally GB and Rally Australia.
Hyundai team principal Michel Nandan said the team’s recent loss of form and points in the manufacturers’ race had helped bring about the change of line-up.
He said: “Reaching this decision was not easy, but we felt it was necessary to reaffirm ourselves in the championship battle.
"Discussions with Andreas have been ongoing since he was out of a drive, but we had nothing to offer him as our line-up was fixed.
“However, with us losing ground, we decided to re-evaluate the situation. We had an open discussion with all three of our crews, and informed them of our decision to make this adjustment.
"The precise line-up for Spain has been made, but we will confirm our crews for Wales and Australia in due course.
"For now, though, we welcome Andreas and Anders [Jaeger co-driver] into Hyundai Motorsport and look forward to getting our 2017 championship back on track from Spain onwards.”
Mikkelsen, whose move ends his recent relationship with Citroen, added: “I am delighted to be joining Hyundai Motorsport and to be back in the WRC for the next three rallies.
“It is a great team with some very talented people, and the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC has proven itself to be a winning car on every surface.
"I had the chance to test on gravel earlier this year. I had a really positive feeling, which I am sure we will find again in these last three events of the season.
"My aim is to do all I can to help the team in the manufacturers’ championship. I have a great belief in them and the car, so I am super excited.
"Anders and I are ready for this and we hope it will be the start of something more long-term.”
Hyundai has remained tight-lipped on next season, but Motorsport.com's sources have confirmed Mikkelsen is expected to tackle a full season along with Thierry Neuville, with Hayden Paddon and Dani Sordo sharing a third i20 Coupe.