Hirvonen: “Shootout stage is a bad idea”
So far we’ve heard what some team bosses think about the proposed changes to the final stage of each WRC event, and we’ve also heard what fans think as well. The fact is, we still don’t know exactly what the format would or might be, so it’s not easy to comment and make any reliable predictions about the thing. That is, if you even wish to discuss it. Many people were instantly appalled, rejecting the very thought of one uberpowerful stage. Though the idea is not good at all, it did start the discussion and I still hope it will lead to a solution for more effective way of presenting the sport to TV and general public.
Team bosses have their own ideas and responsibilities, and fans want to enjoy the sport and have fun, but what about drivers? Surely they would not mind a more elaborate coverage and more fans and spectators, but at what cost? Three days of rallying, is it too much work if only one stage has the power to crush your advantage even if you were only marginally slower on that particular stage? Mikko Hirvonen of M-Sport World Rally Team was kind enough (as always) to respond to WRB’s question, regarding the power stage shootout concept.
“I think it’s a bad idea. We can maybe find some other solutions to make Sundays or some rallies more interesting but I think that this is destroying the nature of the rally. Like we have said before it’s like playing a full Ice Hockey or Football game and decide the winner by the penalty shoot out regardless of the result of the games.”
Brief, but really, that’s all there is to it and Mikko’s analogy is spot on.