Feb.3 (GMM) F1 has turned up the volume for 2015.
As per the engine ‘freeze’ rules, 2014 manufacturers Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari have been allowed to upgrade their turbo V6s by a value of up to 48 per cent since the end of last season.
Still, the slight relaxing of the homologation rules – the so-called ‘unfreeze’ – continues to cause controversy.
After the 2014 suppliers found a loophole to keep upgrading their engines beyond the start of the forthcoming season, newcomer Honda pushed for the same right.
The FIA eventually compromised, allowing McLaren’s new works supplier to keep upgrading beyond Melbourne but only to the tune of the average amount of performance ‘tokens’ left over by its three rivals.
According to Auto Motor und Sport on Tuesday, however, Ron Dennis is not happy with that.
The German publication said the McLaren supremo in fact wants Honda to be allowed to use the highest number of tokens left over by Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari.
For instance, if Mercedes has 10 tokens left in Melbourne, Renault 8 and Ferrari 6, Dennis thinks Honda should be granted 10 tokens for 2015 rather than the average value, which in this case would be 8.
Correspondent Michael Schmidt said Dennis will raise the issue at the strategy group meeting in Paris on Thursday.
“He will meet with resistance,” said Schmidt, “especially from Ferrari.”
Meanwhile, those at the opening test at Jerez this week have noticed that the upgraded 2015-spec turbo V6s are definitely louder than last year’s.
Schmidt said: “And the tone is more like a racing engine than a lawn mower.”
Mercedes’ engine boss Andy Cowell said: “I don’t know why this is so, as we have definitely not done anything deliberate to make them louder.”
Auto Motor und Sport speculated that the improved sound has been due to changes in exhaust length made solely for performance reasons.