Mercedes warns F1 engine unfreeze may 'open can of worms'

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has warned that relaxing Formula 1's engine freeze regulations could have unintended negative consequences

Mercedes warns F1 engine unfreeze may 'open can of worms'

F1 chiefs have been discussing relaxing rules that prevent manufacturers from making changes to engines for reasons other than safety or reliability during the season.

Wolff has previously suggested Mercedes would be open to this change, to allow rival engine manufacturers Ferrari and Renault to close up their performance deficit.

Opinion: The complex future of F1 engines

But the Austrian warned relaxing the engine rules for 2015 could also "open up a can of worms" over costs and fair competition.

"It's a difficult one, because I strongly believe we need stability in the regulations," Wolff said.

"Personally, I'm not keen on it because more costs will incur. Equally, how can you make sure everybody is on the same spec?

"It triggers so many consequences and you open up a can of worms by doing that.

"We are trying to be productive. I think it is [about] not forgetting your own agenda but also doing it for the benefit of Formula 1."

FERRARI PUSHING FOR CHANGE

Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci has been pushing for change on F1's engine regulations since taking charge at the Scuderia, but he denied the team is simply looking for a "magic bullet" solution to catch the dominant Mercedes team.

"We've never worked from tactical angles saying 'let's do this softening of the rules so we can catch Mercedes'," Mattiacci said.

"The starting point was that in Formula 1 I cannot wait one year to work on the engine.

"We do not believe this is a magic bullet. It's a way to talk about innovating and to keep working on the car."

RENAULT UNSURE OF BENEFIT

Renault has also endured a significant deficit to Mercedes under the first year of F1's new V6 turbo hybrid engine rules, but Renault Sport F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul is unsure whether the French manufacturer would benefit from a relaxation of the engine freeze.

"We do not want to over-invest in engine technology," he told AUTOSPORT.

"From my perspective we should have a set of regulations that as quickly as possible narrows the bandwidth of performance between the manufacturers, so that we do not overspend on those technologies.

"There is the law of diminishing returns, which means that after some time Mercedes will be limited, and at that point in time we will be in a position to catch up.

"However, I'm not sure how far we are from the physical limit of the system.

"According to how far we are, we may even be in a worse position with that additional unfreeze than with the current freeze."

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