Mercedes to com­pro­mise over en­gine ‘un­freeze’

F1 Racing - - F1 INSIDER -

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 modied 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.

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