M-Sport Ford team principal Richard Millener has urged the World Rally Championship to learn from and embrace the Monza Rally round that concluded the 2020 season earlier this month.
Millener, who was among those to highlight the benefits Monza could offer before the round was confirmed as part of the calendar, said this year’s circuit-based finale provided the perfect footprint for a fan-friendly WRC round.
“We saw Séb [Sébastien Ogier] talking about this on DirtFish, and it’s really just to echo those points,” said Millener.
“In terms of fan engagement, a rally like this one is a real open goal. We can learn a fair bit from this year’s rally – we know, for example, what we’re getting with the pit garages and how we can dress them up in team colors, things like that.
“Like all F1 circuits, Monza has dedicated areas for fan engagement and we can plug the WRC in and use this great infrastructure.
“Imagine the main Formula 1 podium being used to celebrate after the powerstage at the end of the event – there could be thousands of people watching on. It would look fantastic, we could get the whole city [of Milan] involved.
“Monza Rally Show is always an event with an amazing atmosphere and that’s something we could look forward to at Monza.”
Millener said he thought the event’s route would need a tweak were it to appear on the WRC schedule again.
He added: “When we have such great stages as the mountains roads we used on Saturday, I’d go for those on Friday and Saturday.
“Run a stage at the track every night: Thursday, Friday and Saturday and then a day at the circuit on Sunday.”
Asked if he would be prepared to sacrifice the current Sardinia-based Rally Italy for Monza, Millener paused.
“I’m not sure I’m brave enough to answer that one!” he said. “It’s a tough one.
“They both present a very, very good case for WRC inclusion.”