The stewards at the Rally of Turkey have issued a statement today seemingly warning Citroen and Ford that they may face action if extreme tactics are used during the fourth round of the 2010 World Rally Championship.
The last event in Jordan ended controversially when Citroen's Sebastian Ogier and Ford's Mikko Hirvonen both deliberately picked up penalties on the final leg in order to ensure they ran in front of their team-mates and thus swept the road to leave a cleaner and faster line.
With the prospect of similar strategies this weekend it now appears the FIA has moved to prevent a repeat by warning all competitors and crews members that 'any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition' or to 'the interests of motor sport generally' could result in a penalty.
While this may avoid the overt use of tactics, it remains to be seen how the stewards will be able to act if they become less blatant.
The full bulletin published on the official Rally of Turkey website read:
Date: 15 April
Time: 12.30 hours
Subject: Bulletin #4
Document No. 1.4
From: The stewards of the meeting
To: All competitors / crew members
"The attention of all competitors is drawn to the provisions of Art. 151(c) of the ISC, Breach of Rules: “…any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motor sport generally”. Please be advised that the stewards at their sole discretion will investigate any activity during the competition that they consider falls into this category. The stewards have supreme and sole authority to decide what penalty to enforce."
Hans Christopher Mehmel (chairman)
Henry Krausz (steward)
Oyman Atabay (steward)
Stewards of the meeting