The introduction of in-season power unit development in 2015 will create an extra headache for both the teams and the manufacturers, some of the sport’s key players admit.
This year the manufacturers will be allowed to use up engine development tokens during the season, rather than use them all before the season, as had been the FIA’s original intention.
The problem they now face is the timing of the introduction of any upgraded parts, as it has to be done with an eye on how much mileage the previous examples have done.
Last year, when there was no development other for reliability purposes, teams would not have a problem using elements at the last race that had been in circulation as early as Melbourne, as long as they still had mileage on them.
Now they risk a dip in performance if they are forced to go back to earlier parts. While mileage on older equipment could be used up on Fridays, juggling the elements around still presents a challenge, especially now drivers only have access to four power units before penalties kick in.
“If you do use tokens up through the year then the introduction of that will mean what you had previously, you won’t want to use,” said Mercedes engine head Andy Cowell when asked by this writer. “Which does complicate it. That’s one of the things to consider as you come up with ideas and decide what you want to do.”
Meanwhile McLaren’s Eric Boullier said: “Last year was already a little bit of a headache, it’s just going to be more complicated. It’s true that four engines, with an upgraded package in the middle, we have to be very cautious how we manage our laps, especially on Fridays.”
3 responses to “F1 power unit upgrades set to make usage harder to manage”
So managing the laps Friday will again leave the paying publich high and dry. I have already seen that Williams is so much sandbagging on Fridays. So why use extra money and vaccation days to travel to a grand prix and watch a Friday practice where they are managing the laps and sandbagging. Let them have a point for making an effort.
Yes, that’s it exactly. There’s no free lunch, if the FIA takes in one area, the teams will sacrifice in another to compensate and its the fans who end up with nothing, and then CVC, FOM, and the Teams sit and wonder why they’re losing viewers.
Can you clear up a few points that I’ve not yet been able to get my head around yet?
Such as: will the manufacturers be able to modify the engines continuously during the season (within the token system limits), or will all new developments have to be introduced in one go, thus creating the “definitive” 2015 spec at that point?
Also, will all teams have to introduce the updated engines at the same time, or will we end up with a mix of engines in use across the different teams of each engine manufacturer?
I really hope we do not go through the same rigmarole next year!