McLaren pushes for Honda to get same FIA leeway as F1 engine rivals

The FIA is facing pressure to reconsider its decision to force Honda to stick to the pre-season Formula 1 engine homologation deadline after rivals were given more freedom

McLaren pushes for Honda to get same FIA leeway as F1 engine rivals

AUTOSPORT revealed last week that a loophole in the F1 technical regulations means Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault are allowed to introduce updates to their 2014 engines at any time over the course of this year.

It had originally been thought that the carmakers would have to deliver the final version of their modified power units by the first race of the season.

The loophole was exposed by Ferrari after it successfully argued that the F1 rules did not explicitly state when 2015 engines had to be lodged with the FIA.

Following discussions in late 2014, the FIA wrote to teams over the Christmas period to state that the "most logical and robust" interpretation was to allow in-season development.

The FIA also clarified that in the interests of fairness and equality, new manufacturers would not be given any extra freedoms and would have to abide by the same restrictions that Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari faced in 2014.

That means Honda is completely free to make modifications to its power unit for now, but it will have to stick to the design that is submitted to the FIA on February 28.

The Japanese manufacturer therefore faces the prospect of seeing its rivals make gains over the 2015 campaign when they introduce upgrades while it has to wait until 2016 to do so.

That situation has prompted discussion between McLaren-Honda and the FIA over the matter, with talks ongoing.

Was Honda's test debut a disaster?

McLaren has drawn short of commenting extensively about the situation, but the team has confirmed that dialogue has been opened up with motor racing's governing body.

"McLaren-Honda has already been in contact with the FIA with regard to this issue, but we do not wish to say anything further at this time," said a McLaren spokesman.

If McLaren's efforts to agree a compromise with the FIA fail, then one extreme avenue open to it would be to protest any rival that introduces an engine upgrade in 2015.

It could argue that changing parts of the engine is a breach of appendix 4 of F1's sporting regulations, which states that: "A manufacturer may homologate no more than one specification of power unit."

If a carmaker used two different types of engine in a season then it could be argued that it would be homologating two power unit specifications. A final decision would have to be made by FIA race stewards.

shares
comments
Marussia Formula 1 team collapsed with £31m debt
Previous article

Marussia Formula 1 team collapsed with £31m debt

Next article

How Renault got it wrong

How Renault got it wrong
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023
Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons Plus

Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons

OPINION: Williams has moved to replace the departed Jost Capito by appointing former Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles as its new team principal. But while he has sought to play down the idea of moulding his new squad into a vision of his old one, some overlap is only to be expected and perhaps shouldn't be shied away from

Formula 1
Jan 17, 2023