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Ott Tänak: New WRC points system overcomplicates things for regular fans

Ott Tänak.
Ott Tänak. Source: Hyundai Motorsport

Last week the International Automobile Federation (FIA) introduced its new scoring system for the upcoming World Rally Championship (WRC) seasons. However, the new system is also raising questions among WRC drivers.

According to the new regulations, starting from next season, points will be awarded in each rally  based on the positions after Saturday's racing, with all -time penalties accrued until and including the final time control that day.

First place will be awarded 18 points and second 15 points. There are 13 points for third spot and 10 for fourth. Those in fifth to tenth places receive, in descending order, 8, 6, 4, 3, 2 and 1 points.

Those points will be distributed according to the positions on Saturday night, that is prior to the final day of racing.

Stages held on Sundays will now be subject to a separate scoring system with extra points awarded to the top seven teams. First place on Sundays earns 7 points, second place 6, third 5 and so on.

The Power Stage is set to remain as before, with the top five fastest drivers picking up bonus points, five points being the maximum.

Several drivers have already said that changing the scoring system is akin to rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. "We need more than just changes to the points system," Estonian rally star Ott Tänak told Finnish broadcaster Yle.

"The rally has now been made too complicated for the average spectator. History has shown that complicated things have never worked for the fans," the Estonian added.

Toyota chief Jari-Matti Latvala told Yle that his team is against the change to the points system. Latvala highlighted one main concern as being the futility of competing on Saturday for drivers who are forced to retire at some point on Friday.

"The driver can take Saturday easy and save his tires for Sunday. If you're the best on Sunday and you win the points test, you'll still score decent points," Latval said.

Another Hyundai driver, Finland's Esapekka Lappi, agreed. "If you crash on Friday, then there's nothing you can do on Saturday. On Saturday, you'll just wear down your tires, and points are in play on Sunday. So, if you're first on the track and fastest then you get 12 points," said the Finn.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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