• McLaren

Honda wins engine development battle for 2015

ESPN Staff
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Honda has won its fight to develop its engine during the 2015 season after being given concessions by the FIA, according to the BBC.

A loophole in the regulations for this year means Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari are not bound by a pre-season engine homologation deadline (February 28) as they were last year, though that initially did not extend to Honda as it enters the sport in 2015 with McLaren. The loophole means Honda's three rivals can develop 48% of the engine throughout the year using 32 'tokens', leading to a complaint from the Japanese manufacturer to the FIA earlier this month.

Following that complaint the FIA has allowed Honda limited development throughout the season. The BBC reports Honda will be allowed to make upgrades based on the average number of tokens unused by the other manufacturers by the time of the Australian Grand Prix on March 16.

The report quotes FIA race director Charlie Whiting, in a written statement, to explain Honda's concession: "If the three 2014 manufacturers have eight, seven and five unused tokens respectively at the start of the season, then the new manufacturer will be allowed to use six during the season (the average rounded down to the nearest whole number)".

The decision from the FIA takes into consideration the concerns of Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari, who are united in the belief that Honda has an advantage from entering the sport a year late because it knew the performance of rival engines in 2014. By contrast, the three manufacturers last year entered the 2014 season without a benchmark to aim for.

With freedom to develop over the whole season, it is unlikely any other manufacturer will use all 32 tokens before the race in Melbourne, meaning Honda will have the tokens to improve engine performance during the season itself.

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