Hyundai working to fix 'scary' Rally1 WRC car after Monte Carlo issues

Hyundai will work on resolving a “scary” issue with its World Rally Championship contender that resulted in Oliver Solberg suffering dizziness and chest pains behind the wheel.

Hyundai working to fix 'scary' Rally1 WRC car after Monte Carlo issues

The Korean marque has faced a challenging start to the new hybrid Rally1 era as a series of issues have stymied the new i20 N on its competitive debut at this weekend’s Monte Carlo Rally.

Hyundai made a slow start on Thursday with all three of its cars well adrift of their M-Sport Ford and Toyota rivals.

While progress was made on extracting pace throughout Friday, all three of its drivers encountered issues with Solberg and Thierry Neuville both at times labelling the situations they were in as “scary.”

Solberg battled through Friday with exhaust fumes entering the cockpit that left him “crying”, “dizzy” and with “chest pains” at times during the the day. The issue is understood to be isolated to the Solberg car.

“It was quite scary as it went on the whole day and at one point I was dizzy and had some pain in my chest, but this afternoon was a little bit better, and there was some gearbox issues, but we will keep working,” Solberg, who ended the day 10th overall, told Autosport.

“It is a very important thing to fix because it is dangerous in the end. It might be good for the environment but not so good for the body," he added when asked about the team’s plans to fix the fume issue.

“It is going better, pacewise I feel good and I just need to get confident with the car because we haven’t focussed on the car at all we have been working on solving issues.”

Hyundai deputy team director Julien Moncet says the team plans to investigate and fix the problem on Friday night.

“We still have to investigate but it is very likely that fumes from the exhaust [were coming in],” Moncet told Autosport. “We will have to find a way to avoid this. We have to look at the car tonight and try to fix it.

On the morning's first stage Neuville declared to “have never been so scared while driving” after struggles with the handling of his i20 N. He also had to face intermittent hybrid power issues along with teammate Ott Tanak.

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

However, as the day progressed the Belgian managed to tame the car while also delivering a pace to challenge the front running Toyotas and Fords.

“I had some much where spin and differential slip on the first stage that I got scared in the stage,” said Neuville, who sits fourth overall, 47.8s adrift of rally leader Sebastien Loeb.

“We were able to react quite quickly in the end I think it was a decent day considering a few problems, and I’m happy we are here tonight and survived without any major issues.”

Considering where the team started the rally, Moncet was pleased to see his cars compete against their rivals but is aware there is plenty of work ahead for the team.

“It has been a challenging day but a positive day all in all,” he added.

“We were a bit disappointed by the overall performance of the car yesterday, but today we have shown that once the car is having no issues we are competitive, and we are not far from the fastest one.

"Okay, the two Sebastiens [Loeb and Ogier] are on a different planet, but it has been a positive day.

“We were able to do some mileage and what was important was to get some consistency, to learn a bit more of the car. We did some set up work, but consistency was the key today.”

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