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  Home > Seasons > Season 2022
Whose year will it be?
At the end of 2021 season Sebastien Ogier had announced retirement from full-time competition and instead chose to run smaller number of selected events. After almost two decades of domination by Loeb and Ogier, speculations ran high as to who would and could take the next crown.

Ott Tanak was the only one who had broken the French run of drivers' titles but Hyundai's Rally1-car was introduced very late and Ott's 2021 season with the team had been a disappointment. Elfyn Evans on the other hand had been fighting for the 2021 title until the final event and was widely considered as the most likely candidate to grab the title.

But it wasn't to be as new, heavier but more powerful hybrid cars proved to be somewhat tricky to master early on. Young Kalle Rovanpera seemed to find the trick fastest. He racked three wins in a row at Sweden, Croatia and Portugal and after having suffered from his bad road position in next event, he returned to winning ways in Kenya and Estonia. Five wins out of first seven events cemented his lead to such an extent that he had almost twice as many points as his closes rivald did. This allowed him to soak in low scores from two events before he eventually sealed the title with another win in New Zealand, with two rallies still left to run.

Hyundai was headed by acting team principal, Julien Moncet who doubled as an engineering head after former team boss Andrea Adamo had departed at the end of 2021 season. Despite somewhat hurried start with the new car arriving quite late, team actually worked so hard that by the final half of the season they had closed the gap with Toyota considerably. This late stage sprint couldn't carry them to titles but bodes well for the next season.

Ford-supported privateer M-Sport started season with a victory for their new Puma Rally1-car with Monte veteran Loeb becoming the oldest WRC winner with this win. Since Loeb also contested only handful of events, team had chosen Craig Breen to spearhead their effort but he buckled under the pressure. This was partly down to car's unreliability which forced him to overdrive and crash, or simply crash and on latter part of the season, also due to management giving up on him rather unfairly. His two-year deal with the team was terminated after just one year.

Rally Sweden returned to series after last year's cancellation and moved to a more northern location which provides plenty of snow and wintry conditions. Also Japan, which was supposed to be run already in 2021, retained it's place in calendar and was successfully organized as a season's finale. New Zealand returned to series whereas Chile was dropped, alongside COVID temporary events Arctic and Monza.

When season's calendar was published, ninth round was reserved for an unspecified tarmac rally. It was believed to be Ireland, but when those hopes collapsed Ypres was confirmed instead in 18th February.

Besides the hybrid cars, WRC's green transition meant that series also switched to 100% fossil free fuel.

Just hours after Rally Catalunya ended, Ott Tanak revealed that he would prematurely leave Hyundai without specifying where to at that time. Following an intense rumors about semi-retirement or signing with M-Sport, he eventually chose latter.

New cars
For season 2022, series switched to hybrid powered rally cars and thus all teams debuted new cars. While much remained the same, there were two main differences, the hybrid power and spaceframe chassis.

Whole hybrid package is one, self-contained unit and all teams use the same unit provided by German company Compact Dynamics GmbH. Package includes a 3,9 kWh battery pack, an electric motor and energy recuperation technology to re-store energy during braking. There are connectors to relevant safety measures like warning lights and alarms which are attached to the car separately.

Hybrid system adds approximately 100 kg to car's weight and can provide a temporary boost up to 100 kW, bringing total power of the car to 500 hp for a limited time. Besides the in-stage boost, rally cars also rely on hybrid power on HEV zones at road sections where they may only run using electric power from the hybrid unit.

Second change in Rally1 cars was use of what's known as spaceframe chassis. This consists of a tubular frame known as Safety Cell, which provides safety for the crew and hybrid unit in case of an accident. Safety Cell is essentially an upgraded and standardized version of ordinary roll cage.

Toyota continued to use Yaris as a base, branding it as GR Yaris Rally1 while Hyundai did the same with i20 N Rally1. Since Ford planned to end production of Fiesta, M-Sport Ford switched their branding and debuted Puma Rally1.

2022 FIA World Champions
(Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window)
2022 FIA World Champions: Kalle Rovanpera and Jonne Halttunen Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
Drivers scoring their
first win
  no new winners
first drivers' point
  E. Cais (Monte Carlo)
  E. Kaur (Sweden)
  A. Tsouloftas (Acropolis)
  H. Bates (New Zealand)
  S. van Gisbergen (New Zealand)
  M. Miele (Japan)
  G. Munster (Japan)
  F. Zaldivar Zuccolillo (Japan)
  H. Kovalainen (Japan)
first stage win
  F. Greensmith (Monte Carlo)
  J. McErlean (Portugal)
  P. Loubet (Acropolis)