FIA considers Honda engine rule changes
The FIA is considering whether to make further changes to F1's engine rules following a meeting with Honda this week, according to the BBC.
A token concession?
- A loophole in the regulations means that homologation deadline no longer applies to Mercedes, Renault or Ferrari. Under the regulations, power unit components are given different weightings depending on their influence on performance and a 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 just 32 tokens to spend on developments at any point in 2015, but are not allowed to change certain components (8% of the total), which were immediately frozen after the first homologation. For 2016, they can use 25 tokens; for 2017, 20; for 2018 15 and three each for 2019 and 2020.
Honda, which returns to the sport with McLaren after a six-year absence, called for "fair competition" last week after the news development on its power unit would be frozen in February but its rivals' would not due to a loophole in the FIA's regulations. As it stands Honda's engine would be frozen on February 28, as Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari's were last season.
The other three manufacturers will be able to spread development on certain parts of the engine over the course of the 2015 season via a token system, but under the current rules Honda will not receive any tokens until next winter (as was the case for its rivals last year). Honda executives met with the FIA on Monday to express their - and McLaren's - concerns at the current state of affairs.
An FIA spokesman told the BBC: "The meeting went well and we are discussing matters that arose," adding that the meeting was "constructive".
Last season the homologation locked in the advantage enjoyed by Mercedes, making it very difficult for Renault or Ferrari to sufficiently cut the gap over the course of the year. Honda and McLaren believe it is unfair to hold them to different rules to rival manufacturers this season, especially as they will have the same restrictions as its rivals in terms of token allowance next year.
They are also unhappy at being forced to supply only four engines to its drivers throughout 2014 as per the new regulations, the same as other manufacturers, despite the fact its rivals were allowed to supply five in their first season with the V6 turbos.