Toyota’s hopes of finding a way to work on its 2021 GR Yaris WRC took a further blow on Wednesday when the FIA confirmed there will be no waivers and no ways around the current testing ban.
The Finnish-based operation is currently building a new Yaris for next season, based on the all-new GR Yaris road car.
While nobody from the Puuppola squad was willing to comment on the situation, DirtFish sources have confirmed there had been discussions between the team and the FIA in the hope that a compromise could be found.
Asked if there was any potential for Toyota running more tests with its 2021 car before the end of the current testing ban, which runs until May 31, FIA rally director Yves Matton’s response was as swift as it was decisive when DirtFish raised the point.
“No,” he said.
“We need to have a clear view in the interest of all the stakeholders and the interest of the championship is that nobody can take an advantage on the other one in this crisis period.
“That’s why we took the decision and we asked the [WRC] Commission and World Motor Sport Council to ban testing for the moment.”
Matton added that the decision for Japan to declare a month-long state of emergency last week could impact on Toyota’s plans.
“The situation from Toyota can change also,” he added. “Like you see Japan is putting in place a state of emergency. We will see, but I think the decision was a good one to ban testing on all cars.
“I can understand [Toyota’s point] on this very well on a marketing point of view, but I can understand the other manufacturers’ [point of view] as well.
“I know that testing the new car can also bring information for the current one. If you are able to transfer data and information from the test to the current car then it’s bringing you an advantage.”
Toyota began testing the GR Yaris WRC in February, when it ran the new model at its pre-Sweden test in Finland.
The team did the same at its pre-México test in Spain last month and it had planned to run the car again in the late spring, once the roads in Finland defrosted and the weather became more stable.
Toyota Gazoo Racing has to run the GR Yaris WRC next season as, with Toyota’s new Yaris road car expected this September, there’s no appetite to campaign an old model in next year’s WRC.