Formula One teams will only be able to use current-specification power unit hardware during the 2016 season, the FIA has confirmed.
The latest draft of the 2016 sporting regulations*, published yesterday, states that “Only power units which are identical to the power unit that has been homologated by the FIA in accordance with Appendix 4 of these regulations may be used at an Event during the 2016-2020 Championship seasons”.
The rule applies only to the engine hardware, not the software, fuel or lubricants.
Mercedes has already confirmed Manor, which will use its engines for the first time next year, will use the latest specification.
Red Bull, which is expected to split from current engine supplier Renault but does not yet have a deal with Mercedes or Ferrari, has tried to make having access to the latest hardware a condition of their 2016 engine contract.
2016 to 2020 power unit homologation rules
Appendix four of the FIA sporting regulations stipulates how
1) An homologated power unit must include all the parts described as “INC” in the “App. 4 Sporting regs.” column of Appendix 2 of the F1 Technical Regulations.
2) Any manufacturer who homologated a power unit during the 2014-2020 period may re-homologate this power unit prior to the 28 February of each subsequent year in accordance with the table in Appendix 4 of the F1 Technical Regulations.
Details of all modifications must be included in a dossier supplied to the FIA 14 days prior to re-homologation. The manufacturer must hold a complete power unit to this specification in a container sealed by the FIA prior to the 28 February of the year of re-homologation.
3) Any manufacturer intending to homologate a new power unit during the 2016-2020 period must provide the FIA with full details of the power unit on or before 28 February of the year of homologation. The FIA must be satisfied, at its absolute discretion, that such a power unit could fairly and equitably be allowed to compete with other homologated power units.
Details of the above power unit must be included in a dossier supplied to the FIA 14 days prior to the date of homologation. The manufacturer must hold a complete power unit to this specification in a container sealed by the FIA prior to the 28 February of the year of homologation.
4) Other than any parts agreed by the FIA at their absolute discretion to be solely associated with power unit installation with different teams, each manufacturer may supply only one specification of homologated power unit during any given calendar year, subject to any changes permitted by the FIA in accordance with the procedure set out in 5) below.
5) A manufacturer may apply to the FIA during the course of the homologation period to carry out modifications to their homologated power unit for the sole purposes of reliability, safety, cost-saving.
Applications must be made in writing to the FIA Technical Department and must provide all necessary supporting information including, where appropriate, clear evidence of failures. The FIA will circulate the correspondence to all manufacturers for comment. If the FIA is satisfied, in its absolute discretion, that these changes are acceptable, they will confirm to the manufacturer concerned that they may be carried out.
6) All power units must be delivered such that the seals required under Article 23.4 can be fitted. Both The manufacturer and users of a homologated power unit must take whatever steps are required at any time by the FIA, in its absolute discretion, to demonstrate that a power unit used at an Event is identical to the corresponding power unit held as required by either paragraph 2 or 3 above.
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