Plans for teams to be allowed a fifth engine for each driver in 2015 remain in limbo pending a formal proposal from the engine manufacturers.
Although team bosses agreed in principle to the idea in Malaysia – on the basis that it will be necessary to encourage teams to run on Fridays rather than save mileage – it has not yet been formally presented to the FIA.
“My understanding from the meeting is that a proposal will be put together by the engine manufacturers,” Force India’s Bob Fernley told this writer. “And once we get that it will go to the next strategy group meeting in the middle of May.
“To me it doesn’t matter either way, whether they fast track it through or it goes through the strategy group and follow the process. The important thing is that we are being proactive and not reactive. It’s about addressing a potential problem that’s not even there at the moment. What we want to make sure is that towards the end of the season there isn’t any issue, as long as it’s sorted out mid-way through the year.”
Fernley is adamant that n extra engine should only be available for Friday running: “The proposal was very clear, it was to ensure that the fans have good value on Fridays in terms of the amount of running they see. Therefore we’re dealing with Fridays and not a full weekend. I suspect that part of the proposal is that it is limited to Friday in terms of running.”
Fernley made it clear that teams won’t be obliged to take a fifth engine, and the situation is complicated by the extra cost to customers.
“The manufacturers are looking at how they can support it. The answer is really to wait until their proposal is out, and only then can we judge fairly what people are looking for.”