They often say it’s not about how many times you get knocked down, it’s about how you pick yourself back up.
Oliver Solberg suffered the biggest knock-down of his World Rally Championship career yet on Rally Finland, crashing on the first meaningful corner on Friday morning and having to watch on as all of his colleagues and rivals attacked the season’s fastest roads for the next two-and-a-half days.
Now he needs to pick himself up and stand taller than he’s ever stood before.
It’s rather handy that the gap between Finland and this weekend’s Ypres Rally Belgium is the shortest of the entire season at just two weeks, and Solberg can quickly move to firmly banish the nightmares of Finland.
But how does he do that? Has he done anything different to prepare for Ypres given his last rally was such a disaster?
“No,” Solberg affirmed to DirtFish.
“I think it’s important not to lose the confidence of what you have done before and not to dig yourself too far down.
“The first thing I did when I got home was sit on the quad bike for a very long time and drive as fast as I could. You haven’t lost the driving, so just not to dig too far down.”
And shortly after pounding around the family home on a quad, Solberg was back in his i20 N Rally1 office for his pre-event Ypres test last week.
Solberg has mixed memories of Ypres after his first visit last year, taking the WRC2 lead when Teemu Suninen retired on the Hyundai i20 N Rally2’s debut and holding on superbly when his power-steering failed on Saturday. But an electrical problem meant he wasn’t able to complete the job.
But Solberg does at least know how to get the most out of this unique rally.
“You need the commitment and confidence with the car,” he said.
“I was leading last year until the car stopped unfortunately but the WRC now this year is very different.
“We saw last year a lot of things were happening and it’s going to be a lot of gambles with tires, punctures, and we saw some big crashes last year. So you need to be smart and play the long game, especially on a rally like this.”
That’s a neat coincidence, as Solberg realistically has no other option than to play the long game for the rest of his 2022 season.
“First, finish!” Solberg said when asked what a smart approach would be this weekend.
But he hasn’t necessarily consigned himself to a forgettable position propping up the top 10.
“I think I will get quite a good result this weekend. And then if I just try to keep out of all the punctures, all the trouble, you can have a decent result in the end, to be fair.”