While agreement on the raft of new chassis rules for 2017 is close, new rules on engines are not due until 2018. At this time it is hoped that the cost of engines will have been reduced along with the performance gap.
Christian Horner, whose team was at the centre of the engine row last year, is not convinced the new rules will make a difference.
"As far as the technical regulations are concerned, we're pretty close to a conclusion," he told reporters in Shanghai today. "They were basically agreed at the last strategy meeting, so I think it's just a formality to finalise those chassis regulations at the end of this month. I think most people are already tentatively looking towards next year based on those regulations anyway.
"As far as the engine regulations are concerned, again there have been some discussions recently, which again will go through the Strategy Group and subsequently onto the Formula One Commission but everything has to be fixed by the last day of this month for 2017, so I'm not expecting too many major surprises.
"It's a complex situation," he continued, "but fundamentally there were four criteria that were requested by the governing body to be met to ensure stability moving forward. Those four criteria were: a significant reduction in cost to 12 million (euros), the availability of supply or the guarantee of supply, power convergence to within a relatively small bandwidth and to address the noise.
"As we sit here now we are not anywhere near having met any of those criteria and I think unfortunately what will happen, as is often the case with these things, time will run out at the end of the month and nothing will be achieved and nothing will change. There is one more attempt in the Strategy meeting and the Commission meeting at the end of the month to discuss and table the concerns and where we're at, but failing that regulations will inevitably stay as they are."
"It is a complex agreement," agreed Mercedes Motorsport boss, Toto Wolff. "We have been given the task in coming up with solutions so that no team is left without an engine. I think all the engine manufacturers have acknowledged that, so we try to cover that. There is an aspect of price reduction, which is important to most of the teams, and we tried to cover that in the framework agreement.
"Obviously it's very difficult to make everybody happy. Christian isn't so happy. But I think we need to come up with a solution until the end of April. We need to ratify those regulations and at the moment everybody is working very hard to at least find the smallest common denominator."