Drivers of 2017 World Rally Cars must be approved by FIA

The use of 2017's faster-than-ever World Rally Cars will be restricted to drivers the FIA feels are competent enough to compete in them

Drivers of 2017 World Rally Cars must be approved by FIA

The use of 2017's faster-than-ever World Rally Cars will be restricted to drivers the FIA feels are competent enough to compete in them.

There has been concern in the service park about the increased speed from the new cars, prompting calls from the current top-line drivers to restrict access.

Some drivers mooted the potential for a Formula 1-style superlicence for rallying - but the FIA's rally director Jarmo Mahonen says he does not want go down that route.

Instead he will implement strict controls on the use of cars by any driver lacking in experience.

"What about guys like Bryan Bouffier?" Mahonen said.

"These guys do one or two rallies per year. [Robert] Kubica is another one.

"We don't want to have a rule where we are always having to bring a waiver, so I would rather not go with the superlicence.

"We have to control these cars, but I would rather do it a softer way than the superlicence.

"Those cars will only be used by drivers entered by a manufacturer and approved by us. This gives us control."

Manufacturers will have to supply the FIA with driver details, with the governing body then giving a final decision on whether or not they can be entered for WRC rounds.

Mahonen said the FIA would turn down any driver who was "putting his £1million on the table to drive the 2017 car".

"Today, you can put down the money and drive the car and we have no control over that," he added.

"We will look at the merits of each driver who applies.

"Do we want the so-called gentleman drivers coming with these cars? No, we don't.

"And nor do we want the 18-year-old drivers coming and doing their first world championship round in one of these either."

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