FIA move to ensure engine parity

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An interesting directive from the FIA came out this week regarding the parity amongst customer engines. There has long been speculation that the engines supplied to customer teams such as Force India, Williams, Haas F1, Sauber, Red Bull etc, are the same engine the works teams use but there were modes that were not accessible for qualifying and other cases.

We’ve asked on the podcast if the engine mapping, software and engine modes were all the same and that always seemed to be a grey area when queried. Most press reports Iv’e read have speculated the same but stopped short of confirming it.

The FIA must also have the impression that this could be the case and they have moved to clamp down on any potential. Let’s be honest, it is difficult enough to double your engine supply costs and get a hybrid power unit from Mercedes or Ferrari but to have the engine maker bake in a limitation via modes that ensure you won’t be able to run their product the way they do is really not fair. The FIA said:

“is to ensure that all power units supplied by one manufacturer are identical in all respects, we have good reason to believe that this may not be the case.

“Whilst the dossiers for each team may be identical it would appear that some are being operated in a different way to others being supplied by the same manufacturer.

“It is therefore our view that all power units supplied by one manufacturer should be identical, not only in terms of the dossier for each team being the same, but we also feel they should be operated in an identical way.

“With this in mind, we will expect all power units supplied by the same manufacturer to be:

“i) Identical according to the dossier for each team.

“and, unless a team informs us that they have declined any of the following, they should be:

“ii) Run with identical software and must be capable of being operated in precisely the same way.

“iii) Run with identical specifications of oil and fuel.”

As Autosport points out, the fuel exception is there as some teams may not use the same fuel supplier as the works team.

I’m glad the FIA are addressing this because I believe Williams and Force India should be able to run the engine at the same level as Mercedes. If they couldn’t before, they will never be a threat to Mercedes or Ferrari for that matter.

Hat Tip: Autosport

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Heath Newland

As usual, the FIA, rather than incur the wrath of the manufacturers by changing the rules to end Mercedes Domination, (cue Imperial March) they issue directive merely expecting the engines to be the same.
See Liberty Media, this is how you skirt an issue.


So lets make it spec, unless you don’t want it to be. Brilliant! But then, the manufacturers are a bit handicapped because they do not get the same choice since they will be what the spec is measured against. So while the manufacturers have to be spec (say Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault, Honda), all of the others can opt-out and modify the software and theoretically have a better engine mapping. Then, in order for a manufacturer team to be able to use the better software they would have to change the spec, therefore allowing all the others to also use it.… Read more »


Maybe I’m off here, but I had another thought on the similar scenario. What if say Renault, for a hypothetical example, have 5 teams they are supplying who choose to run the ‘stock’ software because they do not have the resources to develop their own. Imagine the works team has perfect reliability and for whatever reason the other 4 teams keep grenading engines after about 75% race distance every race. Maybe it’s the setup of the car and how everything gets packaged, it doesn’t matter. Renault would need to make changes in order to save itself embarrassment. But now in… Read more »


Hi SubC, the customers having the freedom to find better set ups than the manufacturer does seem a possibility of this directive. But I think the manufacturers are probably safe, as the customers would need access to development p.u’s and the dynamometer test rigs etc that apparently even Honda didn’t have last year.
I doubt the manufacturers would support the customers in that sort of effort, or that customers, other than Red Bull could afford it.
I understand the equivocal wording relates to the fact the Mercedes and its customers all run different charge cooling systems.


Yep, fully agree.. theoretically possible but realistically improbable. The non-manufacturers are going to take what they get and say they are happy with it (unless your Massa, then you will complain, realize oops we have an NDA, and backtrack). I say that, but as other areas see clampdowns, one day the improbable may become possible.

sunny stivala

“Anyone can speculate, speculate means only that you’re guessing at the reasons”. This here subject is another of those speculative “loads of BS’S” forced on the FIA to clarify, the one before was the so called “oil burn”. F1 engine customer teams are supplied by manufacturers with the same hardware/software/lubricant/fuel. Some customers chose to/went for “year old specification”. Some goes for different “lubricant and fuel”. All teams customers and not use their own cooling hardware. Some customers use a complete supplied power train, some use their own transmission. A PU is developed on a specific lubricant and fuel, lubricant and… Read more »


Hi Sunny, I was hearing on a missed apex podcast that the update of the technical regulations at the end of last season have included a whole bunch of measures to eliminate ‘oil burning’ from the p.u’s.
So presuming that the manufacturers weren’t sharing all of their oil burning capabilities with their customers, that in itself might bring customer and manufacturer p.u’s closer in output and performance.

sunny stivala

JAKO, the oil burning subject like this here software subject was total hyped-up crap.


Msybe, but It looks like the FIA got sucked in too, to the extent of changing the technical regulations to eliminate it.

sunny stivala

Not “maybe” but for “sure” the FIA got sucked into it, that was part of the intention/s of the Instigator/s. The way the FIA operates had changed, it had to change in accordance with modern times instigators tactics used. The modern day instigators who are always the same two sources foments discontent when it best suits them, most likely is when they are stopped in their tracks from circumventing the rules to gain an advantage. They start an allegation of sorts, either officially or through leaking it out to the press, the press takes it from there to unimaginative proportions,… Read more »

sunny stivala

This here subject of (“control” software supplied by manufacturers to customer teams) was actually the third in a series of four discontent intended and fomenting moves by the bad losers in the game. The first was right at the very first race of the start of the new engine formula (fuel flow rate-FIA approved fuel flow rate sensor). The second one was the (accumulating of fuel past the FIA flow sensor). The third was as above (software). The fourth was the (oil-burn). Only one of the above four was proven, and that was by the FIA. None of the other… Read more »