Jan.3 (GMM) F1 newcomer Honda has been left out as rival engine suppliers prepare to develop their turbo V6 power units throughout the 2015 season.
It has emerged in recent days that, because the wording of the regulations is unclear, the sport’s 2014 suppliers Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari do not in fact have to present in Melbourne an engine to be ‘frozen’ for this year’s entire world championship.
“Everything depends on the interpretation of the rules,” Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff told Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport earlier this week.
It is believed the loophole was discovered by Ferrari, and then backed in subsequent meetings by fellow engine straggler Renault.
“The FIA offered its version (of the rules interpretation),” Wolff added, “and I do not see any problems.
“Certainly the freezing of engines in February is best for those who are at the front,” said the Mercedes chief, whose Brackley team utterly dominated last year, “but we are able to develop too.”
Crucially, however, F1’s engine newcomer Honda will not be able to develop throughout 2015.
That is because the rules make clear that, for new engine suppliers under the turbo V6 rules that were implemented in 2014, a clear start-of-season homologation date is set: 28 February.
No such homologation date exists, however, for engine suppliers’ second year under the new rules.
It means Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault can deploy their 32 performance development ‘tokens’ throughout the entire 2015 season. Honda cannot.
Writing in Germany’s authoritative Auto Motor und Sport, highly respected correspondent Michael Schmidt said: “Newcomers (like Honda) have no tokens in the first year.
“Until their engine is homologated at the end of February, they are completely free to develop, but after that they may only upgrade on grounds of reliability, cost or safety,” he explained.
Schmidt continued: “McLaren boss Ron Dennis already expressed his concern at the recent Strategy Group meeting that the rules discriminate against his new engine partner.”
14/01/2019 Mercedes to use all-new engine in 2019 – report Jan.14 (GMM) Mercedes could once again be about to pull away from its rivals in the horse power department. Last year, Ferrari closed the gap on the German team, and also Renault and […]
13/03/2017 2017 ‘power units’ only slightly louder – report Mar.13 (GMM) F1 is continuing to nudge up the volume of its controversial 'power units'. In 2011, in the midst of the screaming V8 era, a German newspaper clocked the leading Mercedes […]
17/02/2015 Mercedes to decide token strategy before Melbourne Feb.17 (GMM) A big unknown ahead of the 2015 season is how F1's manufacturers will manage the new engine 'unfreeze'. Earlier, Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and newcomer Honda were bound to […]
02/03/2015 Honda freezes engine unsure of 2015 ‘tokens’ Mar.2 (GMM) After a troubled winter, 2015 newcomer Honda has now locked in McLaren's 'power unit' for this year's campaign. It has completed only a fraction of the running of […]
03/09/2015 Marchionne set for Red Bull engine talks – report Sep.3 (GMM) Ferrari wants to re-enter the running to be Red Bull's new engine supplier from 2016. Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport claims president Sergio Marchionne intends to visit the […]
17/03/2015 Ecclestone says Mercedes had V6 head-start Mar.17 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone claims Mercedes had a head-start over its engine rivals at the start of F1's controversial turbo V6 era. After the 2015 season opener, the F1 supremo on […]
19/04/2015 F1 racing ahead for 2017 rule changes Apr.19 (GMM) Technical change is coming to formula one. Days ago, Bernie Ecclestone told La Gazzetta dello Sport his ideal scenario would be to scrap the quiet, expensive and complex […]
03/03/2015 Wolff says F1 ‘shark tank’ alive and well Mar.3 (GMM) F1 as a ruthless 'shark tank' is alive and well, according to Toto Wolff. The Mercedes chief, however, undoubtedly plays the role of one of the sharks, particularly when it […]
24/01/2017 Honda aims for top engine makers in 2017 Jan.24 (GMM) Honda is aiming to push towards F1 'power unit' pacesetters Mercedes and Ferrari in 2017. Almost certainly the least impressive performer among its engine manufacturer peers […]