Engine allowance likely to be increased


Following agreement between the teams it looks likely that this year's power unit limit could be raised from four back to five.

It is rare for the teams to agree on anything, from the date and location of meetings to whether still or sparkling water should be provided, however, for once there appears to be some unanimity.

Following a meeting today in Sepang, it looks as though they have all agreed that this year's regulation which allows only four power units (and components) per driver will be increased to five.

The move, which could be implemented as early as the Chinese Grand Prix, and still needs final approval from the engine manufacturers themselves and the FIA, has the blessing of Bernie Ecclestone who is concerned that with teams limited to just four power units they will opt on the side of caution and there will be less running in the practice sessions, particularly Fridays.

It's understood the idea was first mooted by Christian Horner, whose driver Daniel Ricciardo had already used up one of his units before the first race got underway, while Kevin Magnussen's engine blew on its way to the grid in Melbourne, the Dane's unit part of Fernando Alonso's allowance.

When the Korean Grand prix was first announced, some thought this a ruse by which the regulation could be circumvented, the rules stating that if the original number of races be changed drivers would be allowed five units, but this was not the case. Indeed, with the loss of the German Grand Prix this brings the original schedule down from 21 to 19.

However, such a move, which the engine manufacturers are not thought to be in favour of, will drive up costs at a time some teams are already under the hammer and needing to seek advances on their prize money from Bernie Ecclestone.

Furthermore, if approved, it's unclear whether the five units would be available for the season or whether the 'extra' unit would be solely for use of Fridays.

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Published: 27/03/2015
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