According to the BBC’s unflappable Andrew Benson, McLaren-Honda have queried the FIA over the announcement this week that the teams were using a loophole in the regulations in order to develop their power units well into the season but Honda were exempt from this loophole.
Honda and McLaren are “annoyed” by this development and damn well they should be too! The FIA’s position is that the other teams had to have their initial power unit design homologated by Ferbruary 28th, 2014 and thus, Honda too should have their first attempt at the baseline hybrid engine design ready February 28th, 2015 because fair is fair right?
Well, if Honda were entering the sport last year, yes. But they aren’t, they are entering this year and while allowing them to monkey with their initial Power Unit design into the season may put the cat amongst the pigeons, most F1 fans feel the sport needs this competition leveler if only to save F1 from becoming a one horse race with Mercedes dominating for the next four or five years.
What seems odd to me is that the FIA changed to the hybrid power unit and forced it down the mouths of an otherwise unsuspecting fan base replete with flatulent sound and overtly expensive and team-ending results, in order to what?…lure new engine manufacturers—who feel the V6 turbo hybrid is the future—into the sport. Honda commits and the first thing they get is a swift and costly kick in the crotch for their efforts.
So Honda might gain an advantage from entering the sport on the same terms as Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari? I say poppycock! That’s just quibble in my opinion. I find the engine makers very annoying at this point in the game as they’ve foisted the V6 turbo hybrid on the series—over threat of leaving if they didn’t adopt the new format—and now Marussia, Caterham. Lotus, Force India and Sauber can’t afford to even compete and to top it off, Honda is lured back and thrown to the wolves before it even gets started.
Now I understand that Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari are the current suppliers and that carries a big stick, trust me, I get it, but at what point will the FIA and the engine makers be on the same sheet of music? Control costs, cost caps, reduce expenses—meanwhile, radically change the engine regulations that make the sport more expensive than it’s ever been and bankrupting teams. Lure in new engine makers—meanwhile punch them in the mouth for joining and committing to the series.
I hope Honda tells the FIA that they will leave the sport prior to the series starting in Australia in 2015 should they hobble the Japanese giant over the engine loophole regulations for a full year. Take that Renault! Who’s peeing in people’s Cheerio’s now? Huh?
I’m a Ferrari fan but I am 100% behind McLaren on this one and I really hope Ron and the folks get Honda on square footing.
Hat Tip: BBC Sport