FIA Stays Firm on Illegal Recceing Following Neuville Exclusion
The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has announced that they are standing by their call to exclude Thierry Neuville from the Rallye Monte Carlo following his illegal use of reconnaissance on the stages of the event.
Neuville was the current leader of the Rallye Monte Carlo before being excluded from the event for illegal recceing. This is the first time a driver has been excluded from a World Rally Championship event for this reason.
According to the FIA, Neuville participated in the recceing of the Nantua and Massigny stages on Monday, in violation of the Rules Governing Recce. While the Belgian driver was initially handed a time penalty, the FIA decided to exclude him from the event, taking a firm stance on the matter.
The FIA clarified its position on non-compliance with the recce rules, emphasizing the vital importance of abiding by the regulations in “the safety and neutrality of the competition”. An FIA statement read: “The FIA is resolute that it must take firm action against any failure to comply with these regulations”.
Neuville has said that he was unaware that recce was not permitted on Monday, and he has promised to appeal the decision. The FIA is expected to make an announcement on the matter shortly.
The exclusion comes as the WRC prepares to take on a new schedule for the 2021 season. With the first event of the year, the Rallye Monte Carlo, already behind us, the series will be looking ahead with renewed focus on safety and the rules governing competition.