Wheatley on two FIA's key decisions for 2024

The FIA road sport director, Andrew Wheatley, explains why the Federation chose to be running Rally1 cars without plug-in system in 2024 while the purpose behind the reduction on the number of hybrid units is for the manufacturers to save money.

FIA announced earlier this month that the 2024 WRC season will be changed massively. Apart from the new point system in which the crews will be awarded based on its results on Saturday and on Sunday but the key condition on taking the Saturday points is to manage to complete the final day of the rally, the number of the permitted hybrid units is now reduced from nine to three which means that every driver can change only one hybrid unit during the season. However, FIA agreed that there will be no time penalties if the team fits a new hybrid unit before the pre-scrutineering, such as it happened with Ott Tanak at Rally Estonia where he had to start Friday with a five-minute penalty. In addition to these, there can be two different types of cars running at the top level, the regular Rally1 cars and those that will not have a plug-in system. The latter category of cars will be a combination of Rally1 and Rally2 cars, but the weight will be the same as this on the Rally1 cars. The purpose behind this rule introduction is to give the chance to the newcomer drivers to compete in the main category of World Rally Championship and to show their skills. Finally, FIA confirmed that Hankook will be the new tyre supplier from 2025 while the minimum passes from the Shakedown stages has been decreased from three to two.

"The option for drivers to compete in Rally1 cars without the hybrid unit now exists", Wheatley said.

"It essentially creates a step between Rally2 and Rally1 and it’s something the manufacturers have supported.

"Cost-saving is an ongoing process and due to the performance and reliability of the hybrid units, we can pass on a substantial cost saving to the teams by reducing the number of hybrid units from nine to three".

Source: Motorsport.com

Photo Credits: M-Sport

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