Bertrand Vallat

18 May 2017

As Chief Designer, Bertrand is responsible for leading the engineering side of the Hyundai i20 WRC programme. He has been involved at Hyundai Motorsport from the company’s inception and has been tasked with heading up technical development of the car throughout testing and into the debut WRC season in 2014. 

What are the main priorities for the design department as a whole?

It is up to our department to design the entirety of the rally car, excluding the actual engine. So everything else from chassis to suspension and bodywork is all down to us. It’s a comprehensive job.

What are your individual responsibilities as Chief Designer?

It is my duty to co-ordinate and to manage the entire car designing process. So I oversee all the experimenting and brainstorming sessions where we try and think of ways in which we can make the car quicker. In addition to this, I also am in charge of quality control. This requires both checking incoming parts to make sure that they meet our specifications, as well as verifying all the specific measurements that are needed for the workshop activities.

What brought you here to Hyundai Motorsport?

I’ve been with the team since the beginning of the project, so it’s been a pleasure to see everything develop. I was excited to have the chance to build up something from scratch. For me, it was a fascinating opportunity and too good to refuse.

Having been here since such an early stage of Hyundai Motorsport’s development, it must mean a lot to you?

I see Hyundai Motorsport as a very challenging adventure, one which I enjoy immensely. When I began here, there were only five employees and myself in this department. So, to see it grow into what it is now is incredibly special for me to see. We have achieved a lot together in a short space of time, but there is even more to come, I’m sure.

How did you first come into contact with motorsport?

I have always held an interest in motorsport. When I reached the end of my studies I was able to get an internship in a motorsport company.  I was very lucky to get the position, as I know how many people want to get into the industry. The passion grew from there and has played a big part in my life.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I don’t get a lot of free time so this one is easy! I used to do lots of horse-riding at competition level, but nowadays I just try to spend as much time as possible with my wife and two children.