Al-Attiyah was to have made his 2013 season debut with the Qatar World Rally Team in Sweden, but when his condition made him unable to attend a pre-event test today (Monday) he decided to pull out.
“I am extremely disappointed not to be travelling to Sweden with the team this week, but it is important that I concentrate on making a full recovery for my next event,” he said.
Wilson will take to the wheel of the Ford Fiesta RS WRC alongside Al-Attiyah’s regular co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini.
“I know Matthew well, and know that he will do a good job for the team. I’ll be following all the crews’ progress from home, and will keep my fingers crossed for a good result,” added Al-Attiyah.
Wilson’s last WRC rally was Wales Rally GB in 2012. He has tackled Rally Sweden six times before – scoring his best result of 7th in 2010. With a broken ankle forcing him to miss last year’s event, Wilson is thrilled to have the opportunity to tackle the snow and ice once again.
“After so much disappointment last season, it is an absolutely fantastic feeling to know that I will be back behind the wheel of a World Rally Car this week," said Wilson. “It all came as a bit of a shock really – I found out I would be competing Sunday night and flew to Sweden this morning!
“The recce starts tomorrow, and I’m confident that Gio and I will work well together. It’s always tricky adapting to a new co-driver, but he is one of the best in the business.
“I need to say a big thank-you to Nasser for this opportunity, and the entire team wish him a speedy recovery. It won’t feel quite right without him in the service park this weekend and we are all looking forward to his return for Mexico."