The first two days of Rally of Spain run on asphalt, with the final leg on gravel.
On asphalt, the cars run in championship on day one and classification order thereafter. This means the fastest car will go onto the gravel first, offering - if the roads are dry – a significant handicap as they will sweep the loose gravel from the surface.
Historically, this format has led to drivers in the top 10 slowing down on the final stage of the previous day an effort to drop a few seconds in return for a more favourable position on the road.
The organisers of the event applied for a waiver to reverse the running order for the final day, but the FIA turned it down. The manufacturers wrote to FIA rally director Jarmo Mahonen last week to ask for a rethink.
M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson said: "I really can't get my head around this one. I thought we were moving forward and not having the crazy situation which will happen.
"We told the FIA in Australia that we 100 per cent didn't agree with this and nothing has happened. We don't want to what we had a few years ago."
The Salou-based event starts on October 24.