The latest meeting of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council not only dealt with matters arising in Formula One, but addressed several of those pertaining to the World Rally Championship, notably the thorny issue of the calendar and future technology.
The 2011 schedule remains as ratified by the WMSC in April [see story here
], with 13 events 'to allow the evolution of rallying worldwide', according to the official FIA statement issued after the Geneva meeting wound up.
The format of events and eligibility of cars also remain as originally published, with the possibility of a 14th event now appearing remote. Three events return to the calendar next season, with Italy, Argentina and Greece all back on the schedule, but, in contrast to recent years, there will be no new events to debut. Nine of the rounds will be held on gravel, three on asphalt and one on snow and ice, with at least one event running every month from the February season-opener in Sweden through to the final round in Great Britain in November.
In addition to clarifying next year's schedule, the governing body also revealed details of several matters relating to technology and suppliers, with tyres high on the agenda.
Key amongst the decisions was that to amend the sporting regulations to allow any tyre manufacturer to supply tyres from 2011. Pirelli won the current contract to supply all tyres to the WRC back in 2007, and was the only bidder for the extension of the control tyre initiative through the 2011-13 period. However, despite the Italian company's involvement bringing an €11m investment, including its Pirelli Star Driver programme, to the sport, the FIA agreed to review its tyre policy after a single season, and has now decided to open up supply deals to any interested parties. Regulations will be implemented to control costs in the event of a tyre war, with the amended regulations to be presented to the WMSC for a fax vote before 20 July 2010.
The FIA Junior World Rally Championship, meanwhile, will continue with a single tyre supplier.
Following an invitation to tender to supply paddleshift systems in the 2011 and 2012 FIA World Rally Championships, the FIA has revealed that it received tenders which did not satisfy the criteria it has set out for the technology. As a result, the World Council did not select a single supplier for the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship, and has mandated the WRC Commission to study the possible introduction of a paddleshift system in the future, in line with the evolution of similar road car technology.
The World Council, meanwhile, adopted new cost-controlling technical regulations for the Regional Rally Championships to permit the adaptation of the current Super 2000 cars to the new 1.6L turbo engine.
Finally, with immediate effect, the name of the co-driver will be included on the rear side windows of competition cars in the World Rally Championship and Regional Rally Championships.