Hyundai to sort out issues after tough Rallye Monte-Carlo

Hyundai Motorsport has completed the opening round of the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship, the Rallye Monte-Carlo, with Thierry Neuville and co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe taking sixth place after a challenging weekend for the team.

With only two Hyundai Motorsport crews taking the start on the final morning, following the retirement of Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja on Saturday evening, the objective on Sunday morning was to bring home both remaining Hyundai i20 N Rally1 cars.

Oliver Solberg and Elliott Edmondson started the day hoping to pick up more valuable experience in their first WRC weekend with the team. Unfortunately, the ill effects of fume issues from the past two days left Solberg feeling unwell and, despite completing Sunday's opening stage, he was withdrawn from the rally on health grounds.

Neuville, meanwhile, set his sights on the Power Stage in a bid to claim some extra points from a demanding weekend. The Belgian, who has shown his sheer determination throughout the rally, claimed a stage win on the first pass through Briançonnet/Entrevaux. He then pushed hard in the Power Stage to take three extra points.

Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe

Neuville said: “At the end of this rally, we are left with feelings of disappointment and frustration. We had a tough weekend. I drove for my life in the Power Stage, I gave it absolutely everything, so I was disappointed with the time. There has been a huge amount of work behind the scenes to prepare for this event, from me and Martijn, as well as the team, so to come away without any reward is hard to accept. There are different areas we are going to work on but most important is the reliability. We need to be much stronger for the upcoming events.”

Crew Notes: Oliver Solberg/Elliott Edmondson

Solberg said: “We started the day with some hope. Our plan was to gain more mileage today – for the car, the team and ourselves – we just wanted to drive and have fun. We were seventh through 5S74 but after the stage we agreed with the team to retire the car as we were not feeling well after what we'd experienced over the past couple of days.

“It's been a long, tough weekend but I am happy with what I've done. Even if it's been tricky, we've set some good splits and stage times. There are always positives to take away.”

Deputy team director Julien Moncet said: “It has definitely been a tough rally for us. I am disappointed for all the team who have pushed so hard, those at the rally and those at the factory. We have to react. From a sporting point of view, I am not happy because we are here to win, and the result is not according to our expectations.

“Nevertheless, we have been able to check a lot of systems on our new Hyundai i20 N Rally7 car, and there are always good things to take out of even the most difficult moments. When the car ran trouble-free, we could show some competitive times so the pace is there. We just have to sort out our issues as quickly as possible."

Next rally

Round two of the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship sees a return to Rally Sweden, taking place from 24 to 27 February.