I n the dispute over engine development is in motion. Due to a formal error in the 2015 regulations, the FIA allowed Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault to retrofit their engines after the homologation deadline on February 28th. Only the scope remains the same.
32 so-called tokens may be used. That corresponds to 48 percent of all engine components. Newcomer Honda would have been the loser. Originally, the Japanese should end the development for this year on February 28th. Because until then they are allowed to develop without limits on their drive source.
The FIA has now granted an objection from Honda. Like their competitors, the Japanese are allowed to upgrade during the season. The scope depends on how many tokens Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault save for later. Honda is granted the mean value of these remaining tokens.
It is now up to the competition to determine how much Honda is allowed to improve. If one of the competitors entered the season with an engine from the previous year, it would be a gift to the Japanese. Because 32 tokens are then included in the average of the three manufacturers.
Mercedes keeps a few tokens in reserve
For this reason alone, Mercedes will not start the season with an old engine, as reported by some media. A spokesman for Mercedes confirms that the defending champion is starting the season with the new drive source. However, it cannot be ruled out that Mercedes will keep one or the other development in the back of the hand.
Also from the point of view that they prefer a 2016 development in the second half of the season and then more room for the following year to have. Then only 38 percent of the engine components can be touched, which equates to 25 tokens. Even more important: in 2016, interventions in the valve train and the spur gear set are taboo. If you want to correct this, you have to do it in 2015.
We hear of 6 tokens that Brixworth is saving for later. Renault wants to use around 25 tokens at the start of the season, depending on which concept prevails in the internal combustion engine. That of Renault or Ilmor. So 7 remained open.
And Ferrari? President Sergio Marchionne announced in his Christmas address that the engineers wanted to take more time for complex developments. Rumor has it that Ferrari's 2015 power source will be in theThe equivalent of 20 tokens will be developed.
Will Honda have 8 motor tokens for the 2015 season?
The FIA expects Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault to provide exact details of the open tokens by Deadline February 28. Then Honda will find out how much leeway its own engineers have. If the speculations of 26 (Mercedes), 25 (Renault) and 20 (Ferrari) were to remain, Honda could develop development for 8 tokens. That would correspond to 12 percent of the complete motor scope.
What can you change with 8 tokens? A look at the FIA list, which assigns a certain number of tokens to each modification, provides information. For example, connecting rod (2), crankshaft (2), piston (2) and valve train (2). That would be quite a massive intervention on the combustion engine.
Anyone who has problems with the electric machines can also extensively upgrade with 8 tokens. Innards (2), position and drive (2) and power electronics (1) cost 5 tokens for both the MGU-K and the MGU-H. Honda could choose any combination within the 8 tokens if required.