Sordo gets Spain penalty for illegal hybrid boost

An unexpected problem with Sordo's hybrid deployment led to a time penalty

2022ESPANA_FD_ 330

Dani Sordo has been handed a five-second penalty by Rally Spain stewards after his Hyundai i20 N Rally1 was found to have delivered hybrid boost on the powerstage when not permitted to do so.

On the final stage of the rally, Sordo’s car delivered 0.08kJ of boost without any regeneration being conducted beforehand, a violation of Appendix XV, Article 3 of the World Rally Championship sporting regulations.

To use hybrid boost on a stage, a car must create a valid regeneration of energy beforehand through braking.


However, Sordo’s car delivered a boost without a prior regeneration taking place, breaking the rules.

Pablo Marcos, Hyundai’s team manager, explained to event stewards that the illegal boost had been deployed due to “latency in the communication system and exceptionally hard braking.”

It was the first time either on a rally or during any testing that Hyundai had encountered such an issue, and therefore Sordo’s team had no clue that such a violation of boost rules was even possible.

Marcos then told stewards that it was possible for Hyundai to avoid this error occurring in future.

“The Stewards considered that, although the performance advantage was negligible, the minimum regen 30kJ value was not met in order to have an extra boost,” read the stewards’ decision.

2022ESPANA_FD_ 179

“They therefore decided to impose the above penalty, also considering that it is the competitor’s responsibility to ensure compliance of the car at all times.”

As the time penalty was applied specifically to the powerstage, Sordo loses his sole bonus point for finishing fifth on the powerstage, though his fifth place overall on the rally is not affected.