The Hyundai Motorsport driver was forced to retire from last weekend’s Monte Carlo Rally on Sunday after the Swede and his co-driver Elliott Edmondson were feeling unwell, as a result of being subjected to exhaust fumes coming into their i20 N for two days.
Hyundai attempted to fix the problem on Friday but it continued on into Saturday, contributing to Solberg losing concentration and running off the road on stage 9. It is understood the team was able to make progress in fixing the issue ahead of Sunday, but elected to withdraw the car after its crew were feeling ill.
Solberg has confirmed in his post event vlog that he visited a hospital on Sunday as a precaution before being discharged, declaring himself “fine” after the incident.
Despite a tough start to life as a factory Hyundai WRC driver, the 20-year-old says he’s learned a lot from the experience.
“We unfortunately only did SS14 and it was a nice stage, but we were not in a shape to continue,” said Solberg.
“It was quite tough conditions and me and my co-driver felt bad after the stage, so we did not want to take the risk to continue and the team basically decided to pull us out, so we went back to Monte Carlo to relax.
“We went to the hospital and did some checks and everything was fine. It has been a very tough weekend and a long weekend.
“On Saturday night we were in a very bad shape so we just need to be careful for a few days.
Oliver Solberg, Hyundai World Rally Team
Photo by: Romain Thuillier / Hyundai Motorsport
“It has been a positive weekend in many ways and very important for the team and an important weekend for me.
“We have learned a lot and experienced a lot and we have a lot to take from this event with some good splits and good stage times, so there is always some positives to take.”
The fume issue for Solberg was one of a series of reliability concerns for Hyundai during a disappointing start to the new Rally1 era, where only one of its three entries finished, with Thierry Neuville sixth.
As previously reported, the team will undergo a complete review of its Monte Carlo performance in order to improve its i20 N ahead of next month’s Rally Sweden.
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