Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
WRC Rally Estonia

FIA to review WRC engine penalties after Tanak case

The FIA will review engine change penalty regulations in the World Rally Championship following Ott Tanak’s sanction at Rally Estonia that was branded “harsh” by his rivals.

Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1

Tanak was handed a five-minute penalty when his M-Sport team was forced to change the engine on his Ford Puma after it developed a significant fault during Thursday’s shakedown before the rally had begun.

Under the current regulations, WRC teams are restricted to two engines per chassis across the season as part of cost-saving measures under the Rally1 regulations introduced last year.

The regulations also stipulate that, if an engine change is required, even if there is still one more power unit in the season allocation, the competitor will receive a five-minute penalty regardless of the timing of the switch.

Tanak is now utilising his second engine of his allotted pool, which will now have to last the remaining five events of the campaign. A further change will result in another five-minute penalty.

The sanction on top of the disadvantage of moving to a final allotted engine was labelled “harsh” and a “shame” for Rally Estonia by championship leader Kalle Rovanpera.

The FIA has confirmed it will review the regulations following this incident, but insists there must be a penalty in place for drivers if more than two engines are used during a season.

“Every time there is an issue like this we have to review and understand, but clearly there is a clear penalty for when you go above two engines [per season],” Andrew Wheatley, the FIA's road sport director, told Autosport.

“I think what we need to review is whether that penalty is enough by itself or whether we still need the regulation that says between scrutineering and the start of the rally [you receive a five-minute penalty]. I’m sure we can find a better way to manage that.

Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1

Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

“Absolutely 100%, we will review that particular issue but the fact you get five-minute penalty if you go above two engines is still going to be there [in the future].

“Obviously we need to review the situation and I feel desperately sorry for Ott and the rest of the team.

Read Also:

“If an engine blows while you are leading it is a bit different, but if it blows up before the rally it just feels wrong.”

M-Sport team principal Richard Millener is hopeful that a discussion on the matter will be held following this weekend.

“I think it is something the sport should discuss afterwards and maybe we can tweak it,” he told Autosport.

“There still should be a penalty available, you can’t just have endless engines.

"I think if you are in that position again and you have only used one engine for that chassis and the rally hasn’t started, do we say you can fit that engine without a penalty if you need to?

“If you are on your second and you have to fit a third then there should be some penalty.”

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation

Related video

Previous article WRC Estonia: Rovanpera pulls clear after Saturday morning clean sweep
Next article WRC Estonia: Untouchable Rovanpera wins nine stages in a row

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe