Planning for “tricky” 2021 needs to start now – Adamo

Hyundai boss says WRC will soon need to face reality that more than just 2020 season may be affected by coronavirus


Hyundai Motorsport team principal Andrea Adamo has stressed the need to plan for a “tricky” 2021 World Rally Championship season alongside talks to restart the paused 2020 edition, as manufacturers’ thoughts turn to cost-cutting.

Three rounds of the 2020 WRC season have been completed so far and uncertainty remains over when – or even if – more rounds will take place this year, but Adamo is already concerned about the ramifications for the 2021 season, especially around reduced budgets from manufacturers.

“We are all connected somehow to an automotive manufacturer,” he said, referring to fellow team bosses Tommi Mäkinen and Rich Millener, of Toyota and M-Sport respectively.

“We have to see what they will say [about] this year, but we have to think already now about next year because the budget and the money available will be different.

“How we will face 2021, which actions that we have to decide on now to already put in place now for next year, is I think the picture that will be more tricky than we can currently imagine.”

Adamo admitted it was still possible the remainder of the 2020 season could be canceled completely, with the state of international transit in the near future still unknown and a worldwide economic downturn on the horizon.

“We have to face the reality, and the reality is not clear so far,” he said. “We don’t know if countries are going to be open or not, and I think I can permit to say we cannot discount the economical backslide that we may have.

“Because now of course, rightly, everyone is focused on the coronavirus situation, about the health and to manage the virus, but sadly – I don’t want to be too much of a pessimist – but soon the emotional and healthy side will go down and we have to face the reality.”

M-Sport team principal Millener struck a more optimistic tone, but reinforced logistical difficulties were posing a major headache and would not be solved any time soon.

“There are discussions going on between all the teams and the FIA to see what we can achieve this year, and our aim is to do as many events as we can,” he said.

“But the reality is we have to wait and see what the different countries allow and how much we’re going to be able to move around, and then we make the best of that situation at that point.

“The only other thing is a lot of sports are looking to go behind closed doors, but I think that’s not really possible with rally.

“And I don’t think we can afford to dumb down the show by just saying we’ll try to close the doors and do it behind the scenes.

“We need a few more weeks to see what happens, then go from there.”