Mercedes 'open-minded' over Formula 1 rivals' engine rules pleas

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff is "open-minded" over a potential relaxation of Formula 1 engine rules next season, but has warned of the likely severe cost implications

Mercedes 'open-minded' over Formula 1 rivals' engine rules pleas

Ferrari, Renault and Honda are all eager for in-season development of the power unit to take place in 2016. It is currently prohibited under FIA regulations.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has already warned Renault could pull out of F1 at the end of next year if the regulation remains unaltered.

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has confirmed holding talks with Wolff and Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda, and claims they are willing to listen.

Wolff said he can appreciate his rivals' circumstances.

"We are open minded about the situation," he told AUTOSPORT.

"We understand Renault and Honda are in a difficult position.

"Discussions need to be held."

F1 faced a similar situation last year, with Ferrari and Renault seeking change but meeting resistance from Mercedes, until the wording of the engine development rule was challenged.

The end result was in-season development token use being allowed for this season, but with the loophole closed off for 2016, and now all engines must be homologated by February 28 next year.

For change to again take place Mercedes has to be on board if the manufacturers are to make a case to the FIA and technical delegate Charlie Whiting.

Wolff expressed concerns over the cost implications during last year's engine debate, and he stands by those worries.

"Cost reduction is a hot topic at the moment, and in-season development probably represents a double-digit million [euro] additional cost factor," he added.

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