Solberg: Fumes, concentration lapse caused WRC Monte Carlo off

Hyundai World Rally Championship driver Oliver Solberg believes fumes coming into the cockpit contributed to him losing concentration and running off the road at the Monte Carlo Rally.

Solberg: Fumes, concentration lapse caused WRC Monte Carlo off

The WRC rookie competing in his first outing as a full Hyundai factory driver has been battling a fuel fume issue with his new Rally1 i20 N that first emerged on Friday.

Solberg revealed that exhaust fumes entering the cockpit left him feeling dizzy and with pains in his chest, but has continued to fight on.

Hyundai deputy team director Julien Moncet confirmed to Autosport on Friday night that the problem was isolated to just Solberg’s car, and it would be investigated and a fix sought.

However, on Saturday morning Solberg reported that fumes were still coming into the cockpit on the first stage of the loop.

On the next test Solberg and co-driver Elliott Edmondson ran off the road. Solberg believes the fume issue contributed to him losing concentration and misjudging a right hander.

 

As a result, the i20 N ran down the bank but luckily the crew escaped unhurt with only cosmetic damage to the front of the car.

“We are very lucky to be back and I'm very happy,” said Solberg on social media after reaching the tyre fitting zone.

“It has been a very tough day. We had a lot of gas fumes in the car and a lot of fuel so it’s been very difficult and I lost concentration basically, and I went off the road.

“I’m back on the road now and the car is fine, just some cosmetic damage and we will keep going.”

A group of spectators were able to push Solberg’s car back on the road allowing him to complete the final two stages of the day and reach the tyre fitting zone.

Oliver Solberg, Elliott Edmondson, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Oliver Solberg, Elliott Edmondson, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Photo by: Romain Thuillier / Hyundai Motorsport

"On Oliver’s car we have some fumes coming from the exhaust system which are disturbing Oliver and Elliott, it’s causing them to loose focus and also it’s affecting their eyes," read a statement from Moncet on Saturday afternoon.

"Unfortunately this loss of concentration made him do a small mistake and go off the road. Thankfully spectators pushed the car back on the road and he could finish the stage. He did the tyre fitting zone now and he will continue this afternoon."

Hyundai’s 2022 season opener has proved difficult thus far as the team battles hybrid and handling issues with its i20 N. The outright pace had been improving across Friday’s stages, but both Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville encountered issues on Saturday.

Neuville suffered a mechanical problem that has left him only able to drive at 75%, while Tanak has been forced to retire. The 2019 champion suffered two punctures before an impact to the front of his car after sliding into a bank on the snow in stage 11.

Without a midday service as per the Monte Carlo Rally format, Tanak has been unable to repair the car and Neuville will have to battle on until this evening’s return to the service park.

shares
comments

Related video

WRC Monte Carlo: Ogier back ahead of Loeb as drama strikes Evans
Previous article

WRC Monte Carlo: Ogier back ahead of Loeb as drama strikes Evans

Next article

WRC Monte Carlo: Ogier pulls clear of Loeb heading into final day

WRC Monte Carlo: Ogier pulls clear of Loeb heading into final day
Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2022 Plus

Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2022

The World Rally Championship welcomed in a new hybrid era in 2022, presenting an unknown challenge to the planet's top rally aces. New records were broken, as Toyota's leading charge became the youngest-ever title-winner, while familiar returning faces mixed it up with the new generation. Autosport picks out the 10 best performers from the year

WRC
Dec 5, 2022
The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title Plus

The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title

With only cameo roles played by legendary Sebastiens Ogier and Loeb, Kalle Rovanpera ushered in the new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship by becoming its youngest champion. Here's how Toyota's Flying Finn crushed the competition, led by Hyundai's departing star Ott Tanak

WRC
Dec 1, 2022
How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book Plus

How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book

At the tender age of 22, Kalle Rovanpera is redefining what’s possible to achieve in rallying and inspiring a new legion of fans as a result. The newly-crowned World Rally Championship title-winner and his peers reflect on his ability and the start of his success in the top tier

WRC
Nov 26, 2022
How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party Plus

How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party

Thierry Neuville signed off the 2022 World Rally Championship season with his second win of the season in Japan after Toyota rival Elfyn Evans suffered a late puncture. With Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera also delayed by punctures and incidents, it opened the door for Neuville and Ott Tanak to record Hyundai's second 1-2 of the season in Toyota's own backyard

WRC
Nov 14, 2022
The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer Plus

The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer

Sebastien Ogier might be the outgoing World Rally champion, but it didn’t stop him reminding everyone of the skills that made him an eight-time world champion. As victory at Rally Spain led Toyota’s charge to a titles clean sweep, it did pose a question to newly-crowned champion Kalle Rovanpera which he could not answer

WRC
Oct 24, 2022
Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver Plus

Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver

The majority of headlines may focus on the exploits of drivers in the World Rally Championship, but the challenges facing their co-drivers are no less demanding. Autosport got in the passenger seat with Toyota Gazoo Racing to find out just what it takes to succeed

WRC
Oct 6, 2022
How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge Plus

How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge

Kalle Rovanpera’s coronation as the new World Rally Championship king had been a long time coming, only to be postponed by hiccups in Belgium and Greece. But at Rally New Zealand the “Full Send” Finn demonstrated exactly how he's been able to rewrite the rallying record book as he stormed to victory to become the youngest ever world champion

WRC
Oct 3, 2022
How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career Plus

How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career

Motorsport can be brutal at times. One moment a driver can be the next big thing, but it can spiral in the other direction so quickly. Thankfully, sometimes drivers receive second chances. And Esapekka Lappi has taken his World Rally Championship lifeline in both hands

WRC
Sep 28, 2022