Hyundai Motorsport team principal Andrea Adamo has confirmed to DirtFish that Oliver Solberg will be back behind the wheel of an i20 Coupe WRC this year.
But he won’t say when.
Following the 19-year-old’s seventh place on last week’s Arctic Rally Finland, Adamo was asked if Solberg would be back in the car again.
“For sure,” was Adamo’s reply. “I don’t give you any more details, I don’t tell you how many rallies because then you will start to stress me with your interviews in the middle of the year asking me when is the next rally for him and things like this.
“You will send me the message, you will call me as well. I know how to manage you as well as the others – for you the information is coming drop-by-drop.”
Solberg signed for Hyundai at the start of the season with a WRC2 program based around the i20 R5 initially and then the i20 N Rally2 when it is homologated later in the year.
Asked if Solberg was building towards a full-time WRC seat next year, Adamo replied: “Who knows?”
But the foundation is good?
It would be stupid, from our side, to let him go somewhere else.Andrea Adamo
“For sure. I thought he could have made these times on the second pass [of stages]. I was happy but not surprised. Trust me, when I saw him in the test, his approach to that and to Monte Carlo, really I thought he was ready for this step without the pressure.
“There were many things I saw with him last year, but it was the powerstage in Monte Carlo when we decided to put him in the World Rally Car. We have all seen what he has done and it would be stupid, from our side, to let him go somewhere else.”
With Solberg primed for his WRC2 program, Adamo deflected the question of which was more important – season-long success in the World Rally Championship’s second tier or gaining World Rally Car experience.
“Both are very important,” he said in a way which indicated this interview might be nearing its conclusion…