The FIA has formally confirmed that the much vaunted “global agreement” on power units has been fully agreed and passed by the World Motor Sport Council.
The agreement, which focuses on reducing costs, guaranteeing supply, convergence of performance and improved engine sound, covers the 2017 to 2020 seasons, and will be implemented in the sporting and technical regulations. As part of the deal the FIA has guaranteed power unit rules stability until 2020.
Reducing costs has been the major thrust of the deal. The FIA says: “Agreement has been reached on a significant reduction in the price of power unit supply to customer teams and a reduction in cost to manufacturers over the coming years.
“In 2017 the power unit price for customer teams will be reduced by €1m per season compared to 2016. From 2018, the annual supply price will be reduced by a further €3m.
“Cost reduction on power units will be driven by changes to the Sporting and Technical regulations in 2017 and 2018, with a progressive reduction of the number of power unit elements per driver per season.”
Regarding the guarantee of supply, the FIA said: “Supply of power units to customer teams will be ensured, as the homologation procedure will include an “obligation to supply” that will be activated in the event of a team facing an absence of supply.”
The most contentious issue has been performance convergence, but the FIA is confident that a way forward has been found.
“The new agreement includes a package of measures aimed at achieving performance convergence. The token system is to be removed from 2017. Additionally, constraints on power unit part weights, dimensions and materials, and on boost pressure will be introduced in 2017 and in 2018.”
Finally attempts are being made to further improve the sound of the engines: “Manufacturers are currently conducting a promising research programme into further improving the sound of the current power units, with the aim of implementation by 2018 at the latest.”