Solberg arrives in Belgium this week for round nine of the World Rally Championship on the back of a huge accident on Secto Rally Finland that left the 20-year-old in tears – and his car a wreck. His involvement on the high-speed gravel event ended as quickly as it started when he lost the rear of his i20 N Rally1 just 300 metres into the opening forest stage.

The impact sent the car into a violent roll and despite it sustaining considerable panel damage, both he and co-driver Elliott Edmondson walked away unscathed. 2022 was always tipped as a learning year for Solberg – the son of 2003 World Rally Champion, Petter – who shares the drive of the third works Hyundai with WRC veteran Dani Sordo. And Deputy Team Director Julien Moncet is keen to remind fans of that very fact.

“For Oliver, it [Ypres] will be another chance for him to learn and improve,” said the Frenchman. “As part of his nurturing process, we must give him as much time as possible in the car. Of course, the three days of stages will be difficult; the roads are demanding, and the field is incredibly strong as always.”

Solberg left Jyvaskyla earlier this month under a dark cloud but he has not had much time to feel sorry for himself. Just days after escaping serious injury, he was back behind the wheel of the squad’s i20 N Rally1 test car, clocking up the miles to familiarise himself once again with Ypres’ infamous ditch-lined roads.

12 months ago he reminded the world of his natural speed and skill when he looked on course to win the WRC2 battle only to have to retire Hyundai’s then all-new i20 N Rally2 car in parc ferme on the final morning because it refused to fire up.

“Ypres is next and it’s a very specific event on the calendar; lots of cuts and mud make it one of the trickiest Tarmac events,” he said. “I have great memories from last year when I led WRC2. Of course, this year, I will be in the Rally1 car which will be a new challenge, but I will try to go fast.

“I am looking forward to being back on tarmac next week at the Ypres Rally. It’s a rally where experience is so important with all the cuts/no cuts and grip changes, so we will try and pick up as much of that experience as possible.

“You need a precise car to suit the narrow roads, and an easy car to drive with all the cuts. Most importantly, we don’t want any surprises. The disappointment from Rally Finland was huge, so I am determined to bounce back from that quickly,” he added.