Teams will discuss the proposal at a meeting of the Formula One Strategy Group next week. While some are keen to see the limit restored to last year’s maximum of five power units, others feel an extra fifth engine should only be available for teams to use during practice sessions, to encourage teams to run more.
“The original reason that people talked about a fifth engine was because in this year when we first reduced it to four per year there was very little running on Fridays and it was seen that this was the explanation,” explained Mercedes executive director for technical Paddy Lowe.
“So the original reason it was agreed that we were looking to introduce a fifth engine was to improve the amount of running that was done on a Friday. So we would agree with it in that context, we’ll see what happens in the Strategy Group.”
McLaren’s Jonathan Neale is among those who wants to see the rule passed without restrictions. “I don’t know whether it will pass,” he said, “there are some conflicting views.”
“There was a certain degree of unanimous agreement amidst the teams in Malaysia. I think that position has changed a bit from what I pick up in paddock rumour at the moment. But what matters most is what case is put to the Strategy Group next week.
“I think that if it isn’t simple, if it goes to five engines with a thousand strings attached and complex other paraphernalia around it, I don’t think it will be go.
“We will obviously benefit from it because we’re in a situation where as a new entrant to the sport with Honda we would very much like that additional fifth engine. We think that would be fair for us.
“I’m pretty sure Renault would feel the same way: they’re investing in the sport, they’re a big organisation and it’s important for their brand as well that they have some degree of glide path. But it’s a fair race for everybody, I accept that: if it’s four, it’s four; if it’s five, it’s five.”
Ahead of this weekend’s race both Honda-powered drivers and all bar one of the Renault drivers have already used three internal combustion engines and some are on their third examples of other components as well. However only one of the eight Mercedes runners has moved on to a second example of more than one of their power unit components.
2015 F1 season
- How a secret Mercedes engine mode helped pressure Vettel into a race-ending puncture
- Over 100 driver penalties issued in record-breaking 2015
- Part-time racer? The facts of Hamilton’s ‘jet-set lifestyle’
- A unique atmosphere: Going to the Italian Grand Prix at Monza
- The Complete F1 Fanatic 2015 season review