Tänak urges FIA/WRC to step up coronavirus management

World champion concedes efforts will be "a pain in the ass", but says now is the time for proper guidance


World Rally Champion Ott Tänak has called on the FIA and WRC Promoter to step up their management in relation to the coronavirus pandemic, echoing the views of Sébastien Ogier.

Speakingto DirtFish at the Rally di Alba, the Hyundai driver said a coherent and cohesive approach was vital if the WRC was to stand any chance of completing a meaningful end of the season.

Tänak said: “The situation is complicated and at some point we need to start to manage it.

“It’s up to the promoter, the FIA and the rally organizers to focus on this topic and to manage it.

“The preparation and the regulations need to be really strict on how the teams, the people and everybody behaves.

“If we want to keep this championship going this year to the end of the year then there needs to be some proper regulation on how the people behave and work together, let’s say, to deal with coronavirus. We need some rules.

“It will be a pain in the ass to be honest, but we need that if we need this championship and we want to do the sport. It’s better to have the championship like this than to have somebody sick.”

Tänak’s former team-mate Ogier offered a similarly withering judgment last month when he was questioned about WRC policy to deal with COVID-19.

Six-time world champion Ogier said: “The situation with COVID will probably not end on December 31, 2020. We will certainly have to deal with changes.

“For the moment, we cannot say the news we get, both from the FIA and from the promoter, is very reassuring.

“No, it’s not that they are not reassuring, it is that there is none! In comparison to some professional disciplines around us, there are times when one wonders if rallying is really a professional sport.

“It is still a shame that the pilots or the teams were without news from anyone for weeks, months, while all the others were trying to organize themselves, to work on a health concept.”

The FIA is expected to present its verdict on how the WRC will work within Appendix S or a variation of Appendix S, the governing body’s COVID-19 Code of Conduct, in the coming week.