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Renault open to engine freeze lift

Wednesday 03-September-2014 09:02

Renault have revealed that it would support a change in the regulations that prohibit manufacturers from developing its engines during the season, as long as a spending war isn't the result.

Under the rules that were adopted at the start of the season, manufacturers are prohibited from making mechanical changes to its power units, although limited changes are allowed to be applied during the off-season.

During last month's Belgian Grand Prix, Ferrari Team Principal Marco Mattiacci suggested during a team principals' meeting that the restrictions on engine development should be loosened, claiming the regulation was unfair.

The Ferrari boss believes the introduction of in-season modifications is a workable compromise, and ahead of this week's Italian Grand Prix, New Renault Sport managing director Cyril Abiteboul revealed to Autosport that he agrees with the Italian.

"I've already seen the difficulty for some teams, and I think it may be the majority of teams in F1 now, to pay for the cost of the technology of the current regulations, so I think we need to be a little bit sensible," Abiteboul told Autosport in an exclusive interview.

"But there should be a system to allow performance to converge rather than performance to diverge. I know that no one wants to force the sport to go into a certain direction [of increased costs] but this is a sport that has to be a sustainable business to all the players.

"So we could open more [the engine regulations], as long as it goes in the right direction for the different providers. It [performance] needs to converge from my perspective."

Abiteboul believes that the greater flexibility would allow for a more level playing field during the season, even if one team's design is clearly stronger than their rivals, as is the case with Mercedes this year.

"It's true that during any regulation change, there is a period of time where the bang for buck and the return on investments is quite high," he explained.

"And it's true that the regulation did not allow for us to deploy all that we have on the drawing board.

"We have a system [a partial lifting of the freeze this winter] that will allow us to do quite a lot of changes, because 48 percent of the power unit will be able to change next year. And we intend to change 48 percent of the power unit."

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