Loophole allows engine development

Date published: January 3 2015

A loophole in F1’s regulations is set to allow Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes to develop their engines throughout the 2015 season.

Engine development was a hot topic in the latter months of 2014 as Ferrari and Renault pushed to have the engine freeze lifted in a bid to close the gap to Mercedes.

And although that never materialised, a loophole in the regulations means they will be permitted to develop their units throughout this year’s Championship.

Poor wording in the technical regulations failed to set a specific date for when permitted changes to their 2014 engines – made post season – would need to stop in 2015.

An FIA spokesman told Autosport: “It was always envisaged, although not explicitly stated in the rules, that manufacturers would have to deal with modifications on the engine within the constraints of the rules, and then submit their 2015 engine [at the first race].

“It is simple, but when you read it [the rule book], it doesn’t say that unfortunately.”

This loophole, though, will not apply to McLaren’s new engine partner Honda.

Returning to Formula 1 in 2015, Honda will have to lodge their engine before the first race of this season and won’t be permitted to make any chances until the end of the Championship.