While we’re all talking about radical engine changes, V8 returns for Red Bull Racing (RBR), the engine manufacturers met today and decided a few changes are in order with their series-rattling V6 turbo hybrid power units.
The wonderful folks over at AUTOSPORT got the scoop and said that the meeting agreed to in-season development, no reduction in engine tokens to spend and no closing of technical areas of the engine for development.
This means the teams will have 32 tokens, the “upper/lower crankcase, valve drive, part of the crankshaft, air-valve system and ancillaries drive” according to the report.
Now, this is actually quite a big move within the confines of the current regulations but I wonder if fan disdain has risen to a point where even these concessions are merely a band-aid on a gaping wound. Fans were roused by the thought of a V8 engine supply for RBR or small teams or even a complete return to V8’s or at least a 3.5 liter V6 turbo with basic KERS.
When we consider the development freeze in F1, that has been, effectively, lifted here and it’s a huge moved within the regulatory oversight. The FIA have made some sweeping changes here so I don’t want to marginalize what has been achieved.
This is big for Ferrari and Honda and Mercedes conceded here is they agreed to it although this also means they can develop their engine even further meaning more money spent and more expensive power unit costs. Fair enough, it we want teams to have a shot at catching Mercedes, it’s going to take this kind of open development.
I would also suggest that this is a bit of a desperation move on the manufacturers part give the whole reason for the freeze was to control costs and allowing other teams a real shot at catching Mercedes is really a big move most likely born from fan appeal regarding Ferrari’s narrowing of the gap even if marginally. It was one fo the glimmers of hope in the 2015 season.
The group are said to have addressed the year-old engine supply issue and approved the use of them meaning Toro Rosso may be fitted with this year’s Ferrari engine. They also decided against alternative engine formats as championed by F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone. This means the idea of having a V8 supply for smaller teams or privateers doesn’t look likely but then some consider that this was a negotiating tactic only. Regardless, the teams were “comprehensively” against it. Of course they were.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT