Neuville "can't see the point" of 2022 WRC proposals

Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville believes that the WRC's proposed technical regulations for 2022 will make it "less interesting" and water down the appeal of the series.

Neuville "can't see the point" of 2022 WRC proposals

When they are presented to the FIA's World Motor Sport Council in June this year, the proposals will see increasing reliance on off-the-shelf components and a reduction in available transmission, braking, suspension and aerodynamic technology.

The proposed formula, named Rally 1, sits at the top of a revised five-tier technical pyramid intended to increase accessibility for aspiring drivers and teams in national-level competition, while increasing sustainability and reducing cost in the WRC.

This will mean that all Rally 1-era WRC cars will share a common crash structure that will be centrally developed by the FIA, and a common hybrid system to make inroads on the series' sustainability push.

There will also be new limits enforced across the car's aerodynamic and mechanical components to prevent high-spending manufacturer teams from engineering an advantage over their competitors.

The FIA presented Rally 1 as a way to sustain and grow manufacturer support, stating that: 'A concept of scaling will allow for more cars to fit the regulations to maximise participation.'

But Neuville expressed his frustration over the proposed ruleset, suggesting it undoes all of the work that the WRC has done to improve its spectacle.

"I asked my boss straight away if he agreed on this shit, but, it seems like that," Neuville said.

"Cost reducing, making the car technically less interesting - putting five gears back, no centre diff, less aerodynamic, less wheel travel on the suspension - I don't see the point, to be honest.

"From three years ago we decide to pep up the WRC and give the WRC a new life and it worked very well to be honest. From the promotion side, from the spectacle side - and now we go back to R5-plus.

"I don't know if I'm really interested to drive these cars but we're going to find out."

Team bosses defend proposals

When questioned, Neuville's boss, Hyundai Motorsport director Andrea Adamo, was emphatic in his support for Rally 1.

"It's very clear: the rules has been done between the FIA and manufacturers, so what is there has been agreed," Adamo said.

Speaking on behalf of M-Sport, team principal Richard Millener said that he had anticipated such a reaction, particularly among the more experienced crews.

"Without wishing to sound rude to any of the drivers, they aren't the ones funding the programme," said Millener.

"At the moment, there are hydraulic systems on the car that cost around £40,000 and we can still hold exciting rallies and have a product that people want to watch and participate in without that level of cost.

"When you look at where the manufacturers are competing at the moment - principally Formula E - it's all provided for you: you just put your badge on it and go.

"We don't want to go down that path, the WRC will always require specialist engineering and the manufacturer's showroom product, but keeping our series accessible to reach that target of four or five manufacturers, although it is not going to happen in the next two or three years, is the right way to go."

shares
comments
Ogier: Rally Mexico should not have taken place

Previous article

Ogier: Rally Mexico should not have taken place

Next article

Portugal and Italy WRC rounds postponed due to coronavirus

Portugal and Italy WRC rounds postponed due to coronavirus
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Author Nick Garton
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Prime

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Prime

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener.

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Prime

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021
The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020 Prime

The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020

A drastically-shortened 2020 season gave the World Rally Championship protagonists precious little stage mileage to strut their stuff, but as ever the cream rose to the top across the seven events. We rank the year's best performers

WRC
Jan 4, 2021
The twists and turns of a turbulent 2020 WRC season Prime

The twists and turns of a turbulent 2020 WRC season

The 2020 World Rally Championship bestrode all 12 months of the Gregorian calendar, and in terms of the competition it was a cracker. Moreover, it was an inspiration in dark days for the world and our industry.

WRC
Jan 1, 2021
The early setbacks that shaped the WRC's greatest driver Loeb Prime

The early setbacks that shaped the WRC's greatest driver Loeb

A series of close calls in his formative years threatened to leave rallying's top echelon tantalisingly out of reach for the man who would go on to claim nine WRC titles. In an exclusive interview, Sebastien Loeb recalls the key steps on his road to dominance.

WRC
Dec 11, 2020