Date:Wednesday January 7 2015
It would seem that Formula One teams have found a loophole in the current engine rule regulations, allowing teams to develop throughout 2015.
Ahead of the 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship, Formula One set about a new set of engine regulations, a rule change which brought about one of the most exciting Formula One seasons to-date, albeit dominated by Mercedes.
The sport also saw an amazing feet of engineering, with the new powerplants using a third less fuel than previous engines, whilst producing more power.
All aspects that the engine manufacturers built the new regulations around as they wanted to be seen as more relevant to road car manufacturing and show technological advancement.
In the build up to the 2014 season engine manufacturers spent a great deal of time and investment on developing the new era of v6 turbo-hybrid power-plants, casting aside the old aspirated v8 engines.
This was a long drawn out process, where the likes of Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes invested years of development before the regulations even came into practice.
To prevent spiralling costs following the new engine regulations, an engine freeze was implemented into the regulations, preventing any in-season developments.
It was believed that the regulations would then allow out-of-season development ahead of the new 2015 season.
Around 92% of the power-unit, including the internal combustion engine and hybrid system is available for alteration.
But to limit overall spending, engine manufacturers are given 'tokens' on what was thought an annual basis to spend on changes to their power-plants how they wish, with 32 tokens enabling manufacturers to actually change only 48% of the entire power-unit.
It was then intended that under the current regulations, after a certain date in the calendar, Formula One engine manufacturers are then not allowed to make any further developments to their engines over the course of the season.
However, it would seem whilst that was the clear intention the rules not specifically state any cut-off point, seemingly allowing the engine manufacturers to drip feed their developments throughout the season.
'It was always envisaged, although not explicitly stated in the rules, that manufacturers would have to deal with modifications on the engine within the constraints of the rules, and then submit their 2015 engine [at the first race],” a FIA spokesperson is quoted as saying by Autosport.
'It is simple, but when you read it [the rule book], it doesn't say that unfortunately.'
But Honda will have to work to the same rules as the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault did in 2014. Which means after they have had their engine homologated by the FIA by February 28th, they will not be able to make any further developments until the end of the season.
Date:Wednesday January 7 2015
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