Wheatley: FIA is content with the Rally1 regulations

The FIA rally director, Andrew Wheatley, says that the Federation is content with the new Rally1 regulations that have been proposed for 2022 considering the reactions of the drivers and the teams plus the victories that came from all the manufacturers.

World Rally Championship entered to a new era in 2022 as the cars became hybrid for the first time in WRC history. More specifically, these new cars have less aerodynamic components, a five-speed gearbox without paddle shifts at steering wheel, a more simplified fuel tank shape and turbo and less complex suspension. Moreover, they use synthetic fuel and provide an extra power to the drivers during the stages thanks to the hybrid unit which is located behind the driver's seat. Finally, the active central differential does not exist anymore while the chassis is tubular and scaled as it is very different to the production car's and has been built by the WRC teams.

However, there were some problems with the hybrid kits before the start of 2022 as Compact Dynamics failed to deliver them to the manufacturers on time while there was a case in which the company had to take them back for further examination as a team detected a problem with the hybrid unit during the pre-season tests. Last but not least, many drivers suffered from hybrid power loss at Rallye Monte Carlo eleven moths ago, but the hybrid unit at Ott Tanak's car was the most defective throughout the 2022 season.

"First year with this new technology was always going to be difficult, but the fact we have changed the chassis, the fuel, added hybrid and changed the concept of the car, the transmission and the aero, and we still have rallies where we are fighting over seconds, I think we have to be content", Wheatly said.

"I think everyone agrees that safety of the cars has been really positive as we have seen some fairly big accidents this year.

"There was talk that the new generation Rally1 cars would be quite a bit slower, but we now know the Rally1 car is a good level of performance. 

"We had all three manufacturers win rallies in the first five events.

"The competition is very close, so that is a real positive.

"There has been plenty of challenges over the course of the year with the hybrid unit and the Compact Dynamics guys are 20 years older than when they started the year. 

"But overall, the drivers appreciate it is a significant performance advantage.

"Now the teams are asking where else they can use the electric power. 

"Some of the teams are thinking about using the electric power more on the road sections so they carry less fuel.

"With the fuel, in normal fuel development you go two percent, two percent, and this year we went 360 degrees. 

"The fuel is a completely new chemistry and honestly we had plenty of challenges along the way, but overall it has been okay.

"We have made a significant step in the reduction of emissions and now championships around the world are saying if WRC can do it, we need to do it".

Source: Motorsport.com

Photo Credits: Toyota

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