Mercedes to compromise over engine ‘unfreeze’
The 2014 world constructors’ champions reluctantly agree to a one-off window for in-season engine development in July 2015
Mercedes are poised to accept a one-off relaxation of the freeze on in-season engine development for 2015.
Ferrari and Renault had been pushing to allow some in-season developments but, despite having voted to allow a certain amount of development at a strategy group meeting in early October, Mercedes had backtracked and were blocking changes because they claimed the move would prove too expensive.
But following numerous meetings at the US GP, it is reported that Mercedes are now prepared to allow a one-off window in July 2015 for slightly modied engines to be introduced.
Toto Wolff, Mercedes’ motorsport boss, said: “If this is the compromise needed to guarantee long-term stability and agree long term we are not going to change the rules every year, that is something we will look at. What we have said is we are calculating that, and we are looking at the effect of it.”
Wolff’s concern is the cost of in-season development, especially because Mercedes will supply power units to four teams in 2015. Ferrari and Renault will power two teams, while Honda will supply only McLaren. Currently, engine manufacturers are allowed to change a limited number of parts each off-season.
Prior to the US GP weekend, Wolff had hit out at Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci’s claims that in-season developments would not increase costs. Wolff said: “If we have another development cycle and you bring a new spec inseason, the whole development process – and the most expensive part is running parts on the dyno – happens twice a year.”
Christian Horner, team boss of Renault-powered Red Bull, claimed development was “right for the sport”, adding: “We need to say: ‘Let’s open it up a bit, be responsible on costs, so there is no cost impact for the customer teams, but have that competition.’”
The proposal for an engine ‘unfreeze’ will be put before the next meeting of the F1 Commission in December.