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WRC 2025 regulations in limbo: “Critical” situation for the teams

The manufacturers involved in the World Rally Championship are increasing the pressure on the FIA and pushing for clarity about the 2025 regulations

The uncertainty surrounding the technical regulations for the 2025 World Rally Championship (WRC) is creating a “critical” situation for the teams. They want clarity on the regulations ahead of the next meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council in June and are once again calling for the current Rally1 regulations not to be completely overturned.

“It’s definitely a critical situation at the moment and I really hope they [the FIA] find a way to sort it out,” says M-Sport team boss Richard Millener in an interview with Autosport,

Time is of the essence, as the manufacturers are due to make decisions on their budgets for 2025 in the spring. “I think more than one manufacturer has to report to their boards [by June], so we’re talking weeks,” says Millener. “We don’t have a lot of time to come up with some high-level visions of where we’re going.”

At the end of February 2024, the FIA presented plans to massively reduce the performance of the Rally1 cars next year. In addition to dispensing with the hybrid drive, the air restrictors are also to be reduced in size and the aerodynamics reduced.

Resistance from manufacturers to FIA ideas

Toyota, Hyundai and M-Sport had recently positioned themselves against these proposals in a joint letter to the FIA. Millener reiterates the demand to keep the current regulations as stable as possible until the end of the homologation period at the end of 2026. “We want stability for the next few years so that we can concentrate fully on 2027,” said Millener.

Toyota team boss Jari-Matti Latvala also emphasized once again that the planned rule changes go too far for him. “I believe that all manufacturers want to leave Rally1 as it is at the moment. Maybe it would be enough if we abolished the hybrid,” said the Finn. “Then we wouldn’t have to do any development work, make any major investments in the cars and all manufacturers would remain in the championship.”

Millener sees the danger that the latter might not be the case if there is no clarity about the regulations until after the next meeting of the World Council on June 11. “I don’t think any of us want to lose our jobs, but we have to make sure that doesn’t happen. Because that’s a realistic possibility at the moment, considering what’s going on with more than one team. “

Latvala praises “good communication with the FIA “

Specifically, Millener says: “I think everyone thinks Toyota will definitely be here, but I don’t think that will be the case. We have to realize that anyone can give up at any time and we have to show some stability.”

“Rally will never die, don’t get me wrong, we still have Rally2 to fall back on, but why should we throw away something we already have to start again?” asks the M-Sport team boss.

In general, however, the manufacturers’ camp is convinced that a solution will be found quickly in the interests of the sport. “There is good communication with the FIA and I think they are now taking into account what the manufacturers are thinking at this time,” says Latvala. “It’s a crucial time and it’s crucial what the future of rallying will look like.”

“We will have some discussions [about the future] this weekend,” says Hyundai team boss Cyril Abiteboul. “We are very lucky to have Pernilla Solberg, a new, dynamic chair of the WRC Commission, who wants to drive things forward. We are fortunate to benefit from her experience and wisdom and I hope that the FIA has the strength to find a sensible way forward for all parties. “

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