What is it about the WRC that scares FIA so much?
When silence is too heavy to bear, and you wish to speak more than anything else, what’s the best thing you can do? One thing comes to mind. You can speak! Which is exactly what everyone and anyone involved with running, watching, reporting or exploiting the WRC should do! In every sport there are avenues and connections which give certain people access to certain information – that’s how media operate outside of usual PR machinery. So even when FIA attempted to silence the participants of the recent WRC Commission meeting, word did get out and we know what happened, more or less. What exactly is FIA hiding? Or is it hiding the fact that there is nothing to hide?
I can imagine some details are best left unspoken. It’s business after all, and we’re not expecting FIA to reveal the internal operations of WRC promotion programme. Unless, of course, it comes down to that. But is that all or is FIA hiding something else? And if so, what could they possibly be hiding? If they plan to introduce changes to the format of the events, are we not entitled to know more about those changes? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I cannot think of any other series, individual or company who could exploit such information. If FIA-WRC is Apple, who is our Samsung? Who are we hiding WRC from?
Granted, general public is irrelevant in the end. The discussion about format of the events or new technical rules would be just that, discussion. The final word is at FIA and their partners. No matter what we, as a general public, fans and media, say, not much will change. Nor it should – it’s a business and it’s a world championship kind of series – you don’t simply turn random people into decision makers. But are we really that irrelevant?
To make matters worse, we are not the only segment of WRC population with no information about the future of the sport. Once again it seems teams are also kept on a “need to know” leash. Why?
If, for example, FIA plans to oust the qualifying system for gravel events next year, how and why is that a secret? I simply cannot understand the logic, unless it boils down to the idea of flying well below the radar. They saw what happened to power stage shootout idea once it came out. We’re led to believe there are more equally iffy ideas on the table and FIA is afraid to talk about them in public because they (the ideas) are really that bad?
Why isn’t Jarmo Mahonen talking to WRC Live on every event? Why Michele Mouton is not sharing her thoughts about the future of the sport with us on a regular basis? Why don’t they come up with something utterly outrageous, such as live Q&A session on WRC.com? You know, talking to the fans, answering their questions. Help us understand just how complex, difficult and not at all simple or trivial running of the WRC really is. Whether such Q&A session would help them do more and do better for the sport or not, it would help us understand and it would encourage us to keep the faith.
Are we really that irrelevant or are they just too relevant?
P.S. Can we start at least one season without ending the previous one in controversies, tensions and raised voices?