Connect with us

2014 F1

Cost issue could end ‘freeze’ relaxation talks



Toto Wolff says F1’s struggling teams would be the victims if a push to relax the engine development ‘freeze’ is successful.

As Mercedes continues to utterly dominate in the first season of the turbo V6 era, behind-the-scenes discussions have turned to allowing struggling rivals Ferrari and Renault to catch up.

“If we look at this year’s season we’re seeing that there’s such a big disparity between the different engines,” said Monisha Kaltenborn, whose Sauber outfit is using Ferrari power and having the “worst season in the history of the team”.

For cost-cutting purposes, F1 operates under strict engine homologation rules, more commonly referred to as a ‘freeze’ that severely limits performance development.

Under the existing rules, engine makers will be able to change up to 48 per cent of their 2014 ‘power unit’ design ahead of the next pre-2015 homologation.

But Mercedes’ rivals, notably Ferrari, are pushing hard behind the scenes for even more freedom.

The current ‘freeze’ operates on the basis of allowing engine makers to exchange a certain number of FIA ‘tokens’ for performance-related design improvements.

Ferrari is arguing for at least eight more tokens to be available to teams for a mid-season design tweak.

Predictably, field-leading Mercedes is not happy with the idea.

Wolff told Auto Motor und Sport: “It would be stupid of us to argue that we have the best engine and so nothing else interests us.

“On the other hand, we must raise the question of costs.

“Eight tokens would cost tens of millions of euros,” said the Austrian. “Who should pay, if not the customer?”

It is here that relaxing the engine ‘freeze’ will meet considerable objection.

The cost of renting engines from Mercedes, Ferrari or Renault for customer teams – some of whom are struggling merely for survival – has already gone up considerably in 2014 compared with the old V8 regime.

“We’re paying about 20 million pounds for our engine in a period when we’re trying to control costs in formula one,” said Mercedes customer Williams’ deputy chief Claire Williams.

Even Kaltenborn, whose struggling Sauber team would benefit from a stronger Ferrari engine, is not keen on the idea of a ‘freeze’ relaxation if it means her bills are higher.

“We do support the idea that development of an engine is allowed within certain given parameters,” she said, “but it not necessarily leads to the fact that we, as customers, should actually bear the costs for that.” (GMM)


Latest Results

Latest F1 News

2018 F16 hours ago

Leclerc to Ferrari, Raikkonen to Sauber for 2019 F1

Sauber F1 team chief Fred Vasseur has not ruled out the proposal that a swap deal with Ferrari that would...

2018 F112 hours ago

Verstappen beats Hamilton to top spot in German GP practice

1ShareMax Verstappen was fastest in second practice in German Grand Prix, the Dutchman kept Red Bull Racing’s striking form at...

2018 F117 hours ago

Practice 1 Results: German Grand Prix

70Shares2018 German Grand Prix Practice 1 Results (FP1): First free practice results and Timings (FP1) for the eleventh round of...

2018 F119 hours ago

Bottas signed, Mercedes completed its driver line-up for 2019

230SharesValtteri Bottas has signed a new one-year contract extension with Mercedes, his team Mercedes have officially announced. It follows Mercedes...

2018 F119 hours ago

We are not negotiating with Kubica – Haas F1

1ShareGunther Steiner has rejected speculation Haas might sign up Robert Kubica for 2019. Pole Kubica is the reserve driver at...

2018 F120 hours ago

The F1 Silly Season: Who will be driving where for 2019 F1?

4SharesWith the German Grand Prix spotted the midway point in the 2018 Formula 1 Season, it now feels like the...

2018 F12 days ago

F1 should be a dictatorship – Berger

11SharesFormula one needs to return to its days as a dictatorship. That is the view of Gerhard Berger, the F1...

2018 F12 days ago

We have great confidence in Honda – Red Bull

1ShareChristian Horner remains confident Honda is the right move for Red Bull. The Red Bull boss said that at Silverstone...

2018 F12 days ago

F1 steward Mika Salo admits Ferrari penalties controversy

11SharesF1 steward Mika Salo has acknowledged the controversy over penalties given to Ferrari drivers in recent races. After Sebastian got...

2018 F12 days ago

McLaren, Williams, admit need for change

81SharesAn anonymous engineer says struggling once-great F1 teams Williams and McLaren need to make sweeping changes. Both British teams have...

Most Popular is not affiliated with Formula 1, Formula One Management, Formula One Administration, Formula One Licensing BV, Formula One World Championship Ltd or any other organization or entity associated with the official Formula One governing organizations or their shareholders. Copyrighted material used under Fair Use/Fair Comment.

We could use the following leading F1 news sources for stories: SkyF1, BBC F1, Autosport, ESPN F1, FIA Media Center, MotorSport, JamesAllen and others leading authors blog.

All Rights Reserved © 2017 Prime Sport Media