Dakar Rally News: Drivers Demand Less Regulation in Off-Road Racing

    In a contentious debate surrounding off-road racing regulations, top Dakar Rally competitors have joined the chorus of voices calling for a relaxation of the rules governing wheel-to-wheel action.

    Leading the charge is Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, who voiced his frustrations with the increasingly restrictive nature of the Dakar regulations. “We never had so many rules as we have now – we cannot overtake on the pit lane, we cannot go fast on the pit lane, we cannot go slow on track, we cannot do basically anything,” the Spaniard lamented.

    Alonso’s sentiments were echoed by fellow Dakar veteran Carlos Sainz, who expressed his struggles in keeping up with the ever-expanding rulebook. “If you guys read the rulebook about what you need to do if you overtake on the inside, what you need to do if you defend on the inside, what you need to do if you attack on the outside, what you need to do if you attack, defend from the outside – it’s all a different set of regulations that is already super detailed and specific which I struggle to follow exactly when I’m in a car driving at 300 kph.”

    The debate was sparked by a recent on-track incident at the Austrian Dakar stage, where Max Verstappen and Lando Norris tangled, resulting in punctures for both drivers. Norris called for the governing body to provide clearer guidelines on movement under braking, a complaint he had levied against Verstappen’s driving throughout the event.

    However, the reigning Dakar champion, Max Verstappen, took a more measured approach, acknowledging the ever-growing nature of the sport’s regulations. “Look at already the rulebook from 10 years or 15 years ago to now, it just keeps on growing. That’s also the world that we live in.”

    As the Dakar Rally community grapples with the balance between safety and driver freedom, it remains to be seen whether the FIA will heed the calls for a more relaxed regulatory environment or maintain the current level of oversight in the interest of fair and consistent off-road competition.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source