Honda fifth engine allowance clarified

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Following the last F1 strategy group meeting it was decided Honda – and any subsequent new engine manufacturer, should be allowed the five engines per season that Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault were afforded in their first year.

Yet as with a number of recent FIA regulations, the intention of how this would be operated was not particularly clear.

Such that Honda mischievously released a statement, which said: “We do not know the details of how we gain back the Austrian penalties, etc. We have to confirm the details going forward, now that the FIA has made its decision.”

Having already taken a fifth engine this year, McLaren-Honda had been given an enormous number of grid place penalties at the Red Bull Ring race in Austria.

Rather than this being merely an amusing riposte from the Japanese manufacturer, there were serious technicalities to be considered. One such question was that because the fifth engine Honda deployed in Austria did not utilise any of the Honda development tokens available this year – would this also be a restriction mandated for the extra ‘free from penalties’ engine now allowed.

The FIA have responded and revealed the extra engine may be deployed by Honda from the Hungarian GP onwards, and given there are no restrictions mandated, Honda can utilise development tokens when the introduce this power unit.

Honda’s plans have been to hold back engines with the development tokens until later in the year – presumably whilst reliability is improved.

It is therefore unlikely we will see a new engine from McHonda in Hungary, though the power hungry circuits of Spa and Monza may force the teams’ hands to deliver an engine upgrade after the summer break.

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6 responses to “Honda fifth engine allowance clarified

  1. I think possibly that the guys in Stuttgart (i.e.: Daimler board) may have had something to do with the “rules of engagement” contact that they had to sign in addition to team management. It’s one thing if a team has a DNF in a GP and has to repair a car because of an accident with a competitor or a mechanical failure of some sort but if they have a DNF and have to repair a car because teammates can’t control their emotions toward one another on track.

    The boys broke their toys and it could’ve have had constructor’s championship implications for the team. There is a way to channel your emotions to have exciting, competitive racing with your teammate but instead in the racing battle between teammates became destructive and potentially dangerous.

    It’s sad that management thought the contract was necessary but they must have tried other options first and they didn’t work. The contract forces Lewis and Nico to be grown ups on track.

  2. So much for McHonda this week. And the Ham-Ros Affair Agreement? Since when did teammates both seeking to win a WDC act like adults (perhaps this is why a certain Mr. Brawn quietly assured LH he would walk into Mercedes as the team’s #1 driver)?

  3. I think Mercedes in Stuttgart expects them to act like adults because they’re representing Mercedes. Issues on track between teammates could lead to brand damage off track.

    Ross Brawn knew Lewis Hamilton had enough natural talent to be a #1 driver. If the FIA banned all radio traffic except for the safety related messages, Nico may have difficulty driving the car.

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