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FIA closing in on WRC 2025 regulations after Estonia meeting

The FIA says it is close to formalising the regulations that will underpin the World Rally Championship for 2025 and 2026 before a likely major reset in 2027.

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

It is widely anticipated that an evolution of the Rally1 hybrid regulations, featuring minor changes from those introduced last year, will form the rules for 2025 and 2026, which the FIA has been working towards for several months.

As previously reported, the formalisation of the regulations hinges on reaching a deal with a hybrid unit supplier. Compact Dynamics, which designed and supplies WRC teams with hybrid units, initially signed a contract until the end of 2024.

The FIA's preferred option is to secure an extension of the agreement with Compact Dynamics, although it hasn't ruled out finding a new hybrid supplier should the FIA and WRC stakeholders and Compact Dynamics fail to agree terms.

Last weekend the FIA met with team principals from Toyota, Hyundai and M-Sport Ford to discuss future regulations in Estonia. FIA road sport director Andrew Wheatley confirmed the meeting was positive and a proposal from Compact Dynamics for the future is being discussed.

"We are close, definitely," Wheatley told Motorsport.com when asked if a deal had been completed with Compact Dynamics.  

"We had a very good meeting with the teams. We are all now pretty much on the same page which is good. We are not able to announce anything but certainly, I came away from Estonia a lot calmer than when I arrived. 

"We have a got a bit of work to do but I think everyone is starting to see the vision of the future in a much more coherent way.

Takamoto Katsuta, Aaron Johnston, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT NG Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Takamoto Katsuta, Aaron Johnston, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT NG Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photo by: Toyota Racing

"Consistency is key. We are working hard towards 2027 as the next evolution of Rally1. I think 2025 and 2026 is just a question of establishing the commercial terms by which we work in the environment. 

"It is a single supplier agreement that had a three-year contract and we are coming to an end of that and we want to make sure that suits all of the partners engaged in the programme. 

"We all invested in developing that hybrid technology. I don't think it is so much [finding] a vision of the sport it is more making sure the commercial reality suits the expectations of all the partners.  

"We have a proposal on the table which is being assessed by all parties, and providing we can agree the terms of that proposal then that is the next step. It is not done but we now have a clear proposal as to what the next step is." 

The introduction of hybrid power to rallying's top tier has provided several challenges for Compact Dynamics and the WRC teams.

M-Sport team principal Richard Millener was however encouraged by what was discussed in the meeting. 

"I think there are still some frustrations over the difficulties we had had over the last couple of years but there seems to be some support from the supplier's side and the FIA's side to know the issues that we have had," Millener told Motorsport.com.

"It was always going to have some growing pains bringing in new technology.

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"In terms of the actual hybrid unit's performance on the events I think they haven't been so bad, but there have been a lot of issues around the supply and service side of things, and everyone is under pressure with budgets and things. We need to control that.

"We need to have a rough vision for the future so we know where we are heading and I think that is what they are working on.

"They [the hybrid supplier] are trying hard to make the teams happy. There are still some challenges it looks but in general, it is a step forward and we have not had that for a while."

 

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