Pre-season engine token spend revealed
The FIA has published each power unit manufacturers token spend over the winter and the remaining tokens available to each for the rest of the year.
The token system
- In order to keep costs under control, engine performance upgrades to power units are limited each season under a token system. Components are given different weightings depending on their influence on performance and the token system is used to limit what manufacturers can change from year to year. Changing 100% of the weighted components would require 66 tokens, but after the first year of competition the manufacturers have 32 tokens to spend. A team can spend all 32 before the start of the season - as was the original intention of the regulations - or opt to hold some tokens back for later in the year.
In order to control costs, performance updates are limited by a token system each season. Originally the manufacturers were supposed to spend all their tokens on upgrades ahead of the first race, but Ferrari spotted a loophole in the regulations that now means tokens can be spent at any point throughout the year.
A total power unit is made up of 66 tokens and the manufacturers were each allocated 32 to spend this year.
Tokens used so far:
Ferrari: 22 of 32 tokens
Mercedes: 25 of 32 tokens
Renault: 20 of 32 tokens
As Honda is a new manufacturer, it was allowed to work on an unlimited amount of performance upgrades up until its homologation deadline on February 28, at which point it was supposed to halt development until 2016. However, in order to allow it some room for improvement over the year, it was agreed that it would have an amount of tokens to spend based on an average of the amount left for each of its three rivals. As a result it has nine tokens to spend over the season.
Tokens left to spend:
Ferrari: 10 tokens
Honda: 9 tokens
Mercedes: 7 tokens
Renault: 12 tokens
Any further token spend cannot be retrospectively applied to a power unit that is already in use by a driver, meaning the power units used this weekend in Australia will not be able to benefit from future upgrades. But with just four power units per driver the timing of token spending is crucial.