Rally News

WRC, FIA considering cost cap in bid to attract new brands

Sébastien Ogier, Vincent Landais, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Cost caps have recently been introduced to Formula 1 in 2021 and Formula E last season to prevent costs spiralling out of control to the detriment of the disciplines.

Currently WRC’s top Rally1 class operates without a cost cap, meaning manufacturers Toyota, Hyundai and M-Sport-Ford are free to spend what they wish on rally programmes.

WRC Promoter believes costs have been drifting away from the original figure intended for the Rally1 hybrid cars that were introduced last year. It is understood that the cost of a Rally1 car is close to a million euros, while Rally2 cars are capped at approximately 200,000 euros.

The WRC and FIA have revealed that a cost cap is an idea on the table as part of a wider discussion regarding the long-term future pathway for the WRC, as it aims to secure it target of four manufacturers.

“This is an ongoing work at the moment,” WRC senior sporting director Peter Thul told Motorsport.com.

“I remember when there was a cost assumption for the current cars. I don’t tell you the number, but it’s a little bit drifting away in the wrong direction.

“Okay, it’s engineer-driven sport and the engineers want to have the fastest cars. But a cost cap is super important.

“We have to get the costs down. The Rally1 team bosses all have to go the board and they have to justify the investment, that’s for sure.”

Sébastien Ogier, Vincent Landais, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

FIA technical director Xavier Mestelan Pinon agrees that if technology costs can been reduced, it will prove beneficial for manufacturers looking to achieve a better return on the investment from competing in the WRC. He also revealed the prospect for a cost cap is a key topic for prospective marques considering a future WRC programme.

“I think for a manufacturer it makes more sense to spend money on marketing and activation than money for a crazy piston or whatever you want to save 10 grams or something like that,” Mestelan Pinon told Motorsport.com.

“I strongly believe that if we can reduce the cost of the technology it would make more more sense for me, because the brand will have more power to activate. It would be good for them and good for the championship.

“I strongly believe it is a good option. It is something relevant in F1 and Formula E and it is something that is on the table if everyone can agree and it makes sense to do it.”

FIA rally director Andrew Wheatley added:…

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