FIA WILL DE­CIDE ON 2017 WRC DRIV­ERS

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

The FIA will de­cide on a case-by­case ba­sis which driv­ers are al­lowed into 2017-spec­i­fi­ca­tion World Rally Cars from Jan­uary.

With the cars ex­pected to be quicker than the cur­rent WRCS, con­cerns have been raised about who should be per­mit­ted to use them on World Rally Cham­pi­onship events. They will not be avail­able for events out­side of the WRC.

Some of the cur­rent front­line driv­ers called for a su­per­li­cence sys­tem, but FIA rally di­rec­tor Jarmo Ma­ho­nen be­lieves such a sys­tem would bring more com­pli­ca­tions.

“What about guys like Bryan Bouffier?” he said. “These guys do one or two ral­lies per year. [Robert] Ku­bica is an­other one. What do we do? We don’t want to have a rule where we are al­ways hav­ing to bring a waiver, so I would rather not go with the su­per­li­cence.”

In­stead, the FIA will have the fi­nal say on the en­try list.

“We have to con­trol these cars,” ad­mit­ted Ma­ho­nen, “but I would rather do it a softer way than the su­per­li­cence. Those cars will only be used by driv­ers en­tered by a man­u­fac­turer and ap­proved by us. This gives us con­trol.

“The prob­lem we have is that, say, David Evans is go­ing to Mal­colm [Wil­son, M-sport] and putting his £1mil­lion on the ta­ble to drive the 2017 car. Ask this ques­tion and Geneva is go­ing to give you the an­swer ‘no.’ To­day, you can put down the money and drive the car and we have no con­trol over that.

“We will look at the mer­its of each driver who ap­plies. Do we want the so-called gen­tle­man driv­ers com­ing with these cars? No we don’t. And nor do we want the 18-year-old driv­ers com­ing and do­ing their first world cham­pi­onship round in one of these ei­ther.”

Photos: Jeremie Bil­liot-planet Mar­cus, Red Bull, mck­lein-im­age­database.com

Faster cars have raised con­cerns

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