Hyundai Motorsport driver Thierry Neuville has warned of possible cost implications of overly restricting the use of hybrid power in next year’s World Rally Championship.
The FIA is working with the teams to finalize the precise plans about in-stage deployment of the 100kW boost, but Neuville is concerned that clamping down too heavily on where and how the teams run with a combined 500bhp will bring more cost to the series.
Neuville told DirtFish: “We need the rules to be cleared up, this hybrid car can be a real cost-consumer if it goes to making strategy and analysis of stages.
“If we have more restrictions then it’s going to be more difficult to make the analysis. If it will be quite much open and free, everybody can make their own strategy for the whole race and there might be some with a better one than the other in some races, or it will be mixed.
“But if there are a lot of restrictions, the teams need to put people in place to work out all the small points where we can be on top of the restrictions and use to the maximum those restrictions.
“For now, nothing is clear and nothing is decided yet and it needs to be done soon.”
FIA rally director Yves Matton argued in the other direction and said decreasing the number of maps available from 10 to three would cut costs.
“The teams are involved in nearly weekly meetings about this – they are very aware on where we are going,” Matton told DirtFish.
We are working to reduce the advantage of spend a lot of money in simulation. That’s why there was an evolution in the approachYves Matton
“It’s possible some don’t agree on the philosophy, but the philosophy is quite clear: we don’t want to be in a championship with unlimited expenditure and we don’t want to leave the door completely open to start to have simulation like we have in racing which could be the key of the use of the new hybrid system.
“Based on this, we are working to reduce the advantage of spend a lot of money in simulation. That’s why there was an evolution in the approach and, from what I know, the last proposal – and this was agreed by nearly everyone – was to reduce quite drastically the number of possibilities to implement the use of the hybrid.
“The first idea was 10 and now we will be closer to three.”