Drivers may be allocated an extra engine to use throughout 2015, it emerged on Friday.
Bernie Ecclestone sat down with team bosses in Malaysia and reportedly agreed that the new-in-2015 limit of just 4 ‘power units’ per driver for the whole championship can now be lifted to 5.
Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport said problems with the new ‘4 engine’ rule become obvious in Melbourne, where Red Bull and McLaren each lost a power unit at the very first race of 19.
The challenging allocation of 4 engines also means teams have greatly limited their Friday practice programmes so far, to the detriment of the already diminishing trackside and television audiences.
“The strategy group and Bernie Ecclestone have agreed at a meeting in Malaysia that the number of engines will increase to 5 again,” said Auto Motor und Sport.
But the rule change can only be made if there is total unanimity up and down pitlane.
And there are other conditions. “This only makes sense if it is also guaranteed that teams will do more laps,” said Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda.
“Otherwise, only the costs increase, with no benefit to the viewers.”
Another condition of the rule change could also be its downfall, as the manufacturers are demanding that their customers pay for the extra engine.
“In the case of Williams, Force India and Lotus,” said the German report, “they would have to pay EUR 750,000 more.” (GMM)