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Renault would support Formula 1 engine freeze lift

Renault says it would support a move to loosen up Formula 1's engine freeze - as long as it did not open the way for an all-out spending war.

Ferrari boss Marco Mattiacci suggested a tweak to F1's engine development restrictions during a team principals' meeting at the Belgian Grand Prix as he felt it unfair that performance was locked in for a whole season.

Under the current rules, manufacturers cannot change engines for performance reasons during the season, but will be allowed to make limited tweaks each winter.

Mattiacci believes a better compromise could be introduced to allow limited in-season modifications, and rival Renault has added its support to the idea too

New Renault Sport managing director Cyril Abiteboul believes that F1 would be better off if manufacturers could work to close down performance deficits during the campaign, although he was mindful that a ramping up of costs could hurt customer teams.

"I've already seen the difficulty for some teams, and I think it may be the majority of teams in F1 now, to pay for the cost of the technology of the current regulations, so I think we need to be a little bit sensible," Abiteboul told AUTOSPORT

"But there should be a system to allow performance to converge rather than performance to diverge. I know that no one wants to force the sport to go into a certain direction [of increased costs] but this is a sport that has to be a sustainable business to all the players.

"So we could open more [the engine regulations], as long as it goes in the right direction for the different providers. It [performance] needs to converge from my perspective."

Abiteboul believes that the infancy of the current regulations offers greater potential for manufacturers to make the steps to ensure a more level playing field - after a campaign where Mercedes' performance advantage has stayed intact because of engine tweak restrictions.

"It's true that during any regulation change, there is a period of time where the bang for buck and the return on investments is quite high," he explained. "And it's true that the regulation did not allow for us to deploy all that we have on the drawing board.

"We have a system [a partial lifting of the freeze this winter] that will allow us to do quite a lot of changes, because 48 per cent of the power unit will be able to change next year. And we intend to change 48 per cent of the power unit."

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