Solberg reveals unusual mental reset after WRC Finland shunt

World Rally Championship rookie Oliver Solberg embarked on 40 kilometre quad bike drive to reset his mindset for Ypres Rally Belgium following the disappointment of his early Rally Finland exit.

Solberg reveals unusual mental reset after WRC Finland shunt

The Hyundai driver suffered his second accident of the season when he rolled his i20 N after misjudging the first corner of Stage 2. 

Solberg lost the rear end of the car entering a left-hander, which resulted in a heavy impact that damaged the car’s roll cage, ruling him out of the rally before it had barely begun.

The accident left Solberg in tears as the emotions of a difficult first season in the top tier caught up with him. 

The 20-year-old, son of 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg, says he has now put the incident behind him thanks to a high-speed quad bike drive around his home. 

“I went as fast as I could for a long as I could [on a quad bike at home],” Solberg told Autosport.

“I think I went for like a 30km, 40km run and I went as fast as I could to release everything, all the pressure.”

Asked about his strategy moving forward, he said: “I think it was just a case of thinking through what happened and why and we did a good plan with the team as to what we could have done better. 

“We made a good strategy to go back to what worked before, and it worked well before.

“There have been two accidents this year, Finland and Croatia, and it is tough when stuff like that happens, it is tough for everybody, but it is part of the learning. 

Oliver Solberg, Hyundai World Rally Team

Oliver Solberg, Hyundai World Rally Team

Photo by: Austral / Hyundai Motorsport

“All the problems we have had this year with everything else all builds up and makes it much worse for myself.

“You just have to remember what you are capable of and be positive on the things that have been good.”

Solberg says the crash in Finland has taught him that he cannot drive flat out all of the time, especially with the unpredictable handling of his i20 N. 

“The only thing I am used to is to go as fast as I can and I think a [measured] approach is what I have to take now and accept it will be difficult,” he added.

“I need to try and learn the car better. The two accidents I have had is when the rear has got away from me in high-speed corners.

“I have learned a lot now that will help me take a bit of care, and drive fast where I feel confident.”

Looking ahead to this weekend’s asphalt stages at Ypres Rally Belgium, the Swede is feeling more confident with his i20 N on tarmac.

“I had a good test road to be fair and I think I’m more and more confident with the car on tarmac,” he said.

“We know we have some issues and if we can do the best with what we have, it seems not too bad I hope.”

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

Solberg’s Hyundai team is tipped to be in the mix for victory in Belgium, with home hero Thierry Neuville the hot favourite after victory last year.

“I think the chance [for victory] is definitely there,” Neuville told Autosport. 

“We have worked on the settings [since the last tarmac rally in Croatia] and we have had some upgrades on the engine mappings. In general, I think we have improved our performance on tarmac a bit. 

“We don’t know where we are to be honest. I don’t think we are bad, but I don’t think we are miles ahead of the others.”

It is a view shared by Rally Finland winner and team-mate Ott Tanak.

“We just don’t know where we are compared to our competitors, so we just need to do some stages and then we will see,” he said.

“If everything is working I think we could be competitive.” 

shares
comments

Related video

Neuville: Everything must be “on point” for Ypres WRC victory repeat
Previous article

Neuville: Everything must be “on point” for Ypres WRC victory repeat

Next article

Breen: Result in Ypres “important” after WRC form struggles

Breen: Result in Ypres “important” after WRC form struggles
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
9 h
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
How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy Plus

How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy

Thierry Neuville led a maiden Hyundai 1-2-3 in the World Rally Championship, as the previously soft i20 N became a battle-hardened Greek warrior at the Acropolis Rally. But with team orders in play between the winner and Hyundai’s title protagonist Ott Tanak, could the result come back to haunt the team?

WRC
Sep 12, 2022
How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders Plus

How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders

After runaway World Rally Championship leader Kalle Rovanpera made his first major mistake of the season, the chance to take advantage was wide open for the chasing pack. Several of his rivals faltered to grasp the opportunity, but Ott Tanak made no such mistake and demonstrated his class with a third win of the campaign

WRC
Aug 22, 2022
Inside Toyota’s new WRC dream factory where rally conquerers come to life Plus

Inside Toyota’s new WRC dream factory where rally conquerers come to life

Toyota locked out the top four places in the World Rally Championship's recent Safari Rally Kenya in a clear indication of its GR Yaris Rally1 hybrid's pace and durability. Autosport was recently given a tour of the new factory where its cars are designed, tested and built, and it reveals much about the commitment of the Japanese marque to continued WRC success

WRC
Aug 19, 2022
How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession Plus

How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession

Finland may have a small population, but it has long enjoyed rallying success. Now that the nation has a new star to cheer in the form of Kalle Rovanpera, interest in the discipline is surging once again

WRC
Aug 10, 2022
How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera’s Finnish homecoming Plus

How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera’s Finnish homecoming

Kalle Rovanpera and Toyota went into Rally Finland as overwhelming favourites but came away as runners-up to a resurgent Ott Tanak and Hyundai. While it may have dampened the homecoming party, it still moved the Finn closer to the ultimate World Rally Championship prize

WRC
Aug 8, 2022
Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home Plus

Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home

Hyundai is one of the World Rally Championship's big three, and has a brand-new travelling facility befitting of that status. The team invited Autosport for a behind-the-scenes look at its state-of-the-art HQ, which comes complete with all the bells and whistles you'd expect of a top Formula 1 outfit

WRC
Jul 27, 2022