The World Rally Championship teams have taken aim at the Monte Carlo Rally organizer, with Hyundai Motorsport team principal Andrea Adamo labeling the itinerary for the 2022 event “one of the most stupid things I’ve seen in my life”.
The season opener shifts its service park from Gap to Monaco with the first full day of competition running to the north of the Alpes-Maritimes. The initial plan makes no provision for a lunchtime service, only a remote tire zone in Puget-Théniers.
With the onset of the biggest change in technical regulations in the history of the World Rally Championship, the teams are concerned by the potential for early reliability issues forcing the all-new Rally1 cars out on the opening day of the event.
Adamo told DirtFish: “You will listen to me speak bad about Monte Carlo for the first time in my life and I hope the last time. To not have a service in midday [on Friday] is one of the most stupid things I’ve seen in my life and is a clear miss of communication between manufacturers, promoter and the FIA.
“This is a big problem.
“It means there is first of all a problem of communication between the partners and this is not a good way to start a new era. I hope they make a change to the race format because, like this, it is very stupid.”
Asked if he was lobbying the Automobile Club de Monaco and FIA and potentially suggesting a change, Adamo added: “It’s not my job to make a timetable of Monte Carlo. If you want, I can also put a broom in my a** and sweep the floor.”
M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson was on the same page as his Hyundai counterpart.
“As it is, it’ll be one hell of a challenge,” Wilson told DirtFish. “To leave Monte on Friday morning and then have no lunchtime service – it’s difficult enough in the current car, but with all of the teams launching a brand-new car and that coupled with the real challenges Monte can throw at you…
“Getting the right mapping, the right tires, it will be so difficult. If it’s nice and dry it can be simple, but we all know what Monte can be like.
“It could be one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced in many years.”
DirtFish understands the ACM is tabling discussions with the teams regarding the itinerary for leg two.
January’s Monte offers a route 95% new from 2021 and starts from Casino Square, Monaco at 6.45pm on Thursday January 20. Two stages that night, Lucéram-Lantosque and La Bollène-Vésubie-Moulinet mean the Col de Turini moves from the final day to the opening loop.
The Friday in question includes the Roure-Beuil, Pierlas-Ilonse and La Tour-sur-Tinée-Utelle stages run twice.
Saturday’s action – which also offers no central midday service in Monaco – moves to the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence for Le Fugeret-Thorame-Haute then a new stage Saint-Jeannet-Malijai and Saint-Geniez-Thoard. This loop is split by a tire zone in Digne-les-Bains.
Sunday’s final day includes the La Penne-Collongues test and Briançonnet-Val-de-Chalvagne-Entrevaux stage, which runs through Col du Buis and Val-de-Chalvagne.
The finish is back in Monaco at 2pm.