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Honda and Toro Rosso to consider strategic penalties

NEWS STORY
13/03/2018

In the wake of Renault's admission that it is considering taking strategic grid penalties, Toro Rosso admits it could follow suit.

Last week, Renault boss, Cyril Abiteboul, admitted that the new rules this season which limit drivers to just three power units, are already causing the French manufacturer to consider its options.

A deliberate grid penalty for changing an engine at an event where a team expects to struggle would pay off not only in terms of having a fresh unit for the next event, it would also allow engine manufacturers to benefit from upgrades to their engines, a move that would be difficult if intending to use just three engines all season.

"We knew this regulation was coming and we know what we had to do," said Abiteboul, according to ESPN, "we are still a bit open-minded about the best way we want to cover the season.

"In particular, we are not assuming that we want to downgrade the performance potential of the engine because of reliability because of mileage," he added.

"We are also looking carefully at the evolution of the sporting regulations in terms of grid penalties," he admitted. "You may know that this has become a bit more flexible, a bit less painful, so we will factor that into the way we are building the plan for this year in terms of engine introduction and possible engine penalties if we have to or if we think that this is tactically in our advantage to do so. But it's too early days to talk about that.

"In Formula One you need to optimise. You need to optimise potential. And if it's better for everyone to use four power units, four ICEs rather than three, we may take that decision, but it's really too early to talk about that."

Toro Rosso, whose new engine partner (Honda) has racked up countless grid penalties over the last couple of years, but has shown remarkable reliability in pre-season testing, is considering a similar strategy.

"There will come the period where we have to find out if is it better to start with a new power unit from the back instead of using an engine that will have 3000-4000 kilometres on it, and you start losing power after one or two hundred kilometres," said Franz Tost, according to Motosport.com.

"We will see," he added. "But I can tell you now that we will have this discussion. I don't know when, but we will have it."

A late move to reverse the rule and leave teams with the same allocation (four) as 2017 was blocked by Ferrari.

"Last year manufacturers tried with four engines and less races, and this year we have more races and less engines," said Tost. "I can only say they are totally crazy with this regulation.

"But Ferrari was against it," he continued, "because others wanted to go with four. They think they have an advantage with three. And it is within the regulations so we have to live with it. We have to accept it and how many power units at the end we will need I don't know."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 13/03/2018 19:24

"@hussainahm - I don't think there is a financial advantage in the end from 4 to 3 or even 6 to 3 if you consider all the cost of falling behind on the grid, loss camera time, and everything else. In the end, a team is going to spend their budget on engines, wind tunnel, or whatever.

I much rather see teams show up as they see fit. They want a new engine every weekend; go for it... "

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2. Posted by hussainahm, 13/03/2018 14:38

"Is there data to show that reducing the number of engines results in lower costs? Is the cost of materials for 1 power unit that high that reducing it from 4 to 3 going to make a big difference?"

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Max Noble, 13/03/2018 11:27

"I’ve huge respect for Max Mosley... He championed many fine activities... But an engineer he was not... And to this day I cannot decide if he was willingly ignorant (i.e. indirectly supporting someone...) or simply a bloody minded lawyer when he felt reducing things like engines over a season would reduce cost! As I’ve previously noted, engineering throw away plastic cups is far, far cheaper than hand-cut Chrystal Champagne goblets... And yet F1 wants the hand-cut goblets at the plastic cup pricing... and wonders why no one can deliver! (Note... Mercedes only appear to deliver because they have lawyers and accountants nearly as smart as Mosley... but they have an army of them...). One lawyer to rule them all and in the darkness bind them..."

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4. Posted by FormerF1Fan, 13/03/2018 10:04

"One short step from Formula One to Formual None... Is this really the pinnacle of motorsport? Or is it the epitome of frenchmen and political correctness dictating daftness..."

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