Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2015

Mercedes has fewest tokens for engine development

2015 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2015Mercedes has used more engine development ‘tokens’ before the start of the season than any of their rivals, leaving them with the least scope to develop their engine over the rest of the season.

The Brixworth-based engine manufacturer has just seven tokens left to use over the remainder of 2015 having already used 25 of the 32 available.

Ferrari used 22 of its tokens over the winter and therefore has ten left. Renault has the greatest scope for development with 12 unused tokens having used 20 on its Energy F1 power unit during the off-season.

As a newcomer to the championship Honda has been granted an allocation of tokens based on the average number of unused tokens each other engine manufacturer has. They have nine tokens to use over the rest of the year.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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20 comments on “Mercedes has fewest tokens for engine development”

  1. That’s a good amount of extra for Honda then, I hope they make the best of it – they’ll need to.

  2. From this weekend performance renault do need more than 12 remaining to get upto respectable position.
    They are a mess i hope they get their act together but even after 12 months it looks worse

  3. Well, considering reliability problems of Honda and Renault, it’s unlikely a dozen of tokens can save them from poor performance.

  4. It’s that a case for Mercedes of get ahead early, stay ahead, then concentrate on next year while the rest are still trying to catch them this?

    This is going to be three or four years of dominance, isn’t it?

    1. Looking at 1.3s ahead for HAM today, maybe that is where they are. Ferrari look pretty good, and have some scope, not too bad a job by them either.

  5. So I underdtand that the restriction in spending on engine developement is to the benefit of costing to mainly customer teams. And I know this is old hat but didn’t the dullards who decided on super complex enormously expensive engine designs for F1 have an inkling this nonsense would be the result, and if it’s ‘tokens’ that are the problem my wife has some unused one’s from the last time she took her CRV through the car wash (Honda Fan).

    1. yeah, I have to think that the tokens will do nothing to cut development costs, because the tokens affect what the customers see, not what goes on behind the scenes, so the power units will still be expensive, in order to offset the costs in development, especially the teams that can’t seem to get the FIA’s particular formula quite right (engine spec).

  6. They could probably forgo using tokens for 2 years at this point.

  7. Honda should thank’s Renault for using least tokens. However let just all hope their performance is hampered by their reliability at the moment.

    1. Renualt could have had only 7 tokens left like merc or even 6 and honda would have got only one less token i.e. 8

  8. With such advantage do they need any?

    1. Perhaps not. But isn’t this supposed to be a sport? I for one am getting pretty tired of this Maxim that says “someone has an advantage – we must change the rules again”. Someone has an advantage because they did a better job, got lucky, or both.

      It’s the same in every sport. You don’t see many seople seriously trying to change the rules of football because Barcelona and Real Madrid dominates La Liga, Bayern the Bundesliga, and so on. If someone came along saying the rules must change because a team was much better than others they would rightly be laughed at!

      Of course F1 is different, and I bet there would be talk of changing the rules if one football team had unique access to equipment that made them unbeatable. But F1 is supposed to be the formula where the engineers are competing just as much as the drivers and their mechanics. For me, that’s always been what made F1 special. There is no shortage of other racing competitions I can watch if I want the competition to be one purely between drivers.

      To my mind, SINCE it is a competition of engineering as well as of setting up and driving the cars, the current limitations on development are analogous to FIFA instructing the clubs players can only train at FIFA-arranged gettogethers a few times a year. It is ridiculous and obviously sets us up for exactly the kind of trouble it has repeatedly led to.

      Nor do I understand the argument that it becomes too expensive if there are no such constraints. It isn’t often spelled out what exactly this is supposed to mean, but presumably it means something like the weaker teams dropping out because they can’t compete with the big boys. Maybe there is something to this, but that hardly helps if imposing limits means zero competition at the top end for years on end.

      Maybe free competition between constructors just isn’t viable, I don’t know. But if so, the logical solution is to change it into a competition between drivers. Make F1 like every other series, except in the most advanced, fastest cars on the planet.

      In short, I’m interested to see some real and pretty unconstrained competition. If that competition is between constructors I am all the more interested. But to watch a non-competition between drivers AND a non-competition between constructors who simply aren’t allowed to do the best that they are capable of is NOT interesting. I don’t think I am the only one who has this sentiment.

  9. Given that software is crucial and free and they’re allowed upgrades for reliability and fuel efficiency I think the tokens are being overrated.

    FIA as operated by Bernie are desperate for everyone to catch the Mercs so I don’t think tokens will be an obstacle, honestly.

  10. Honda’s torubles i believe at the moment are software related, look at Manor, they couldnt even fire up the engine and do 1 lap because of software. they are the only one capable of catching Mercedes over the next 5 years or whatever the engines are locked in for, but it will have to happen this year, or we are in for a terrible few years of f1.

  11. Shouldn’t Honda get 10 tokens?

    10 + 12 + 7 = 29
    29 / 3 = 9.666….

    So since every decimal point worth 5 or above is getting rounded up, not down, it should be rounded to 10 tokens, not 9.

    1. Sorry I couldn’t find a quick link to the actual ruling, but I believe the agreement said partial tokens would be ignored, not rounded. This is why Honda gets 9 instead of 10.

  12. The Independent (i) ran a story this morning that said completely the opposite…that Mercedes-Benz have the MOST tokens, 32 specifically. There was even a comment by Toto Wolff?!

    1. My bad, this is the article. Just a totally different spin on the same ‘facts’:


      (Plus my bad memory!)

  13. They can only use tokens if they have performance adding changes to make.

  14. robert morodan
    5th May 2015, 14:52

    Does anyone know how many tokens did honda used so far (by may 2015 from total of 9)

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