Matton wants rallies to innovate after 2020

The pandemic shook up WRC itineraries as well as the calendar, and that flexibility could continue

Ott Tanak (EST)

The skies over the World Rally Championship have been particularly cloudy this season. But FIA rally director Yves Matton is determined to see the series seek out a silver lining.

Now, according to Matton, more than ever, this is the time for WRC rounds to innovate and use their imagination to do things differently.

Already this season, we have seen significantly different itineraries, with shakedown shifting from Thursday to Friday morning, with the pre-event recce running Wednesday-Thursday, a day later than usual, in an effort to shorten the rally week.

And, of course, we have seen new rallies coming in Estonia, Italy and very almost Belgium.

Matton says no good ideas are off the table, as far as he’s concerned.

“We need to take some positive things from the crisis and not only the negative points,” he told DirtFish. “It’s the year to try things. Nobody can say at one moment: ‘Oh guys, what are you doing? Why are you trying things like that?’

“I’m sorry, but this year, we have to be creative and we have to try things and I hope at the conclusion of the year it will be OK. We try things since we are working, since we are not working, we try the short format, we try the reverse order change at midday in some rallies.

“We try Monza, OK, we try a few things we are never able to do in the other years if you go in the normal way of the decision process in the federation (FIA).

“It would take much more time in the normal process. We are able to do things because everybody believed that we need to be flexible this year and we have to take the opportunity to be flexible and to try things.

“For sure, not everything will be positive. When you try things, and not always try only things who are working, but at the end of the year, I hope that the different things we tried, it will be mainly positive things we tried.”

Words:David Evans

Photo:Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool