The South Korean manufacturer has never won on the high-speed Scandinavian gravel event and, on current form, few pundits expect that to change when round eight gets underway next Thursday evening. On each of the last four visits there, reigning Manufacturers’ champions Toyota Gazoo Racing have ruled the roost thanks to engineers finding the perfect mix of outright speed and pin point handling.

Another reason why Hyundai is expected to struggle in its fight for silverware is the on-going reliability issues that have affected the I20 N Rally1 car so far in 2022 compared to the tank-like qualities of the GR Yaris Rally1 supermini. Driveshafts breaking, exhaust fumes entering the cockpit and a general imbalance with the car has led to Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville publicly criticising how under-developed the car is.

Tanak has previously stated that “fundamental things did not go right” with the car’s groundwork prior to it taking to the stages at January’s Monte Carlo Rally. The team does have five ‘jokers’ it can use – tokens that allow for changes to be applied to the chassis and transmission at key points in the year – as it tries to narrow the gap to it and Toyota.

Changes could be incoming for Rally Finland as Moncet and his backroom staff returned to base camp immediately after last month’s Rally Estonia in an attempt to try and rectify some of the problems. “Although Finland was not an event we had traditionally performed well at previously, we were able to get two crews on the podium last year and that was a great achievement for us,” explained Moncet. “It is our hope that we can do the same at this year’s rally – if not do even better.”

However, in the team's pre-Finland release, the Frenchman then appears to back track on what exactly he thinks the squad should be aiming for across the three-and-a-bit days of competition. “Estonia was good preparation for us as it is a similar type of event,” he said. “The gap between Estonia and Finland has been very short, so we must manage our expectations slightly, however we will still push to the limit.

“All three crews have shown that they can be fast on the gravel over the course of the season so far, therefore we are confident they can produce a strong result for the team,” he added.

Like team-mate Neuville, double Rally Finland champion Tanak knows exactly what is needed for one of the fastest meetings on the World Rally Championship roster. “The stages are always throwing something different at you, it is certainly unique,” said the Estonian.

“With how fast the stages are and the number of crests you really need a car that stays on the ground and is also very precise. The set-up is challenging – but we have confidence we can perform well.”