Perhaps cooler heads have prevailed in the case of Honda’s return to Formula 1 after all. The FIA has reversed its position on not allowing the Japanese firm and engine supplier to McLaren to make performance upgrades to its 2015 engine during the season.
According to the BBC and AUTOSPORT, the FIA have now devised a plan allowing Honda to make performance upgrades to its engine during the 2015 season. Due to a loophole in the wording of the regulations, Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari were allowed to deploy their performance upgrades throughout the year and not all at one time prior to the start of the 2015 season.
Honda executives flew from Japan to meet with the FIA last Monday and argue their case—apparently they made decent arguments.
The FIA has now reconsidered its position and will allow the team to develop their engine throughout the season:
“As each of the four 2015 manufacturers will have an homologated power unit at the start of the season, we believe it would be fair to ensure that each of them enjoys equal opportunities for upgrades during the season.
“We will therefore allow the new manufacturer to use the same number of tokens that the other three manufacturers have available to them, taken as an average of the three.
“For example, 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).”
Effectively Honda will be given an average number of tokens in which to perform upgrades as the other three manufacturers plan on using during the season. The current suppliers have 32 token in which to make upgrades. Should they use all of them prior to the season opener in Australia, then Honda (as well as the others) will be allowed no further upgrades for the season but that isn’t believed to be the case with Ferrari and Renault very keen to string the upgrades out over the year.