Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Singapore, 2017

New FIA rules tweak to make F1 engine customer teams more competitive

2018 F1 season

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Formula One power unit manufacturers have been told they must supply equal engines to their customer teams in a new rules clarification issued by the FIA, RaceFans has learned.

The sport’s governing body believes “some [power units] are being operated in a different way to others being supplied by the same manufacturer”, leaving the customer team potentially at a disadvantage.

Manufacturers are already required to demonstrate the hardware they supply to their teams is identical. But following a new technical directive issued last month the FIA now requires them to ensure their hardware “must be capable of being operated in precisely the same way” by all teams who use it.

The rules change is partly intended to prevent manufacturer imposing tighter limits on how often customer teams can use high-power engine settings, sometimes called ‘Q3 modes’. Customer teams may continue to use different specifications of software, fuel and oil to the engine manufacturers if they wish to.

F1’s engine customer teams are Red Bull (Renault, branded as TAG-Heuer), Force India (Mercedes), Williams (Mercedes), Haas (Ferrari), McLaren (Renault) and Sauber (Ferrari).

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The rules clarification in full

The clarification was issued in Technical Directive TD/005-18:

The purpose of [point] five of Appendix four to the F1 Sporting Regulations* is to ensure that all power units supplied by one manufacturer are identical in all respects, we have good reason to believe that this may not be the case. Whilst the dossiers for each team may be identical it would appear that some are being operated in a different way to others being supplied by the same manufacturer, this renders the purpose of [point] five almost meaningless.

It is therefore our view that all power units supplied by one manufacturer should be identical, not only in terms of the dossier for each team being the same, but we also feel they should be operated in an identical way. With this in mind, we will expect all power units supplied by the same manufacturer to be:

i) Identical according to the dossier for each team.
and, unless a team informs us that they have declined any of the following, they should be:
ii) Run with identical software and must be capable of being operated in precisely the same way.
iii) Run with identical specifications of oil and fuel.

*Point five of Appendix four to the F1 Sporting Regulations is as follows:

Each manufacturer shall submit an homologation dossier for each team it intends to supply. There may only be one homologation dossier per team. Save for the dossier related to the power unit supplied to a team according to Article 23.4 b) of these Sporting Regulations, the dossiers for the teams supplied by a manufacturer shall be identical, at any given time, save for differences in parts agreed by the FIA at its absolute discretion to be solely associated with power unit installation with different teams, provided such differences have no significant effect on car performance. The FIA will grant dispensation from this Article (i) should the difference(s) have no effect on the power unit price and (ii) should the team refuse such difference(s) proposed by its manufacturer.

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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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82 comments on “New FIA rules tweak to make F1 engine customer teams more competitive”

  1. That’s actually pretty good news, I think.

    1. Really @ecwdanselby? Somehow, and this is my opinion of course, I don’t see Williams or Fore India coming close to challenging Mercedes regardless of what software they are using. They just have budgets too small to make a dent against Merc. Same goes for Haas and Sauber. They will not be challenging Ferrari anytime soon.

      1. @blackmamba Surely nobody would be expecting this news to mean the lesser teams will now have works cars, right? This is simply a small step towards a little more fairness and is a small gesture that starts to get the lesser teams a little closer to the front, as Liberty has talked about working toward.

      2. You have a point but, still, it improves the situation.

      3. No, but maybe it will help them at some times beat some of the top teams in qualifying. And off course it will be good to know this for both Red Bull and McLaren if they really did a good job with their chassis again, because it could really give them a better shot at regularly starting closer to the first row.

    2. Yes, finally an effort to address the “formula 1 dlc engine modes”. Also this shall lessen manufacturer manipulation, particularly using other teams in order to benefit your own championship.
      Software has always been the key in this formula.
      Good steps but the engineers are working for the manufacturer not the Costumer. Maybe they are already running the same code, the engineers just won’t use modes they aren’t aware of, or perhaps play dumb.

    3. How many different teams can one engine supplier supply on the grid?

  2. Vettel fan 17 (@)
    23rd February 2018, 10:57

    Could the manufacturers not just say to the customer teams ‘don’t use this engine mode or we’ll cancel our contract’? So technically they aren’t breaking the regulations because that give the same engine, but they still can’t use all of the modes. Unless I’ve read the article wrong.

    1. Vettel fan 17 (@)
      23rd February 2018, 11:00

      Opps. Just realised that:

      ii) Run with identical software and must be capable of being operated in precisely the same way.

      I guess this means that they have to be allowed to use all modes?

      1. No just they are capable

        1. Allowed and capable are synonyms in this situation.

  3. Good – the rules before left a two-tier system where customer teams were not getting the full potential of the engine compared to the works teams.

    1. Just to add to my previous comment, works teams already have an advantage as they can truly develop their power unit and chassis holistically, to then control how their customers use their engines and actively restrict them from getting the most form them by hiding engine mappings is very much not in the spirit of sporting fairness.

      I suspect this was very much in Ron Denis’ mind when he moved from Mercedes engines when McLaren ceased to be the works team. The Honda years were disastrous, but Mercedes would never have ‘allowed’ McLaren to unleash what they themselves could get from the engine. The Honda move was disastrous but the thinking behind it was sound.

      1. McLaren was beaten by Williams with the same PU in 2014. What was the excuse then @geekzilla9000?

        1. Good point, no wins that year – but at least it got some podiums!

          I’m not saying that a works team is guaranteed to do well and will always do better than a customer team (look at Red Bull and Renault) but for Works teams to abuse their position by withholding data and locking out performance – it can put customers at a distinct disadvantage. The customer may have an insanely awesome chassis, a power-unit alone cannot win a race – but it is a major part of the package and a few tenths a lap here and there can make a massive difference.

        2. Ryan Fairweather
          23rd February 2018, 12:37

          They weren’t using the same fuels and lubricants thus were in the order of 50bhp down on merc, williams and force india.

          1. 50hp down? No chance, typical Mclaren spin, their car was not very good as ever and they were thrashed by Merc and Williams.

  4. Hmmm, that and the oil burning might just be something that takes the shine off of Mercedes’ advantage over other (including customer) teams.

    1. You mean Ferrari right?

    2. I thought that when the FIA brought in the new oil use limits Mercedes immediately applied the limit use to include the engines they were then using, which were exempted from the rule. The most obvious inference is Mercedes weren’t burning oil during a race.
      My experience from driving around the city is you can smell a car that is buring oil from quite a way behind it before you see the car with the smokey exhaust, so if a car was burning oil then all the drivers behind would know about it.

    3. @hahostolze I guess you already forgot that it was Ferrari who had to remove their oil burning system in Baku. Which coincidentally was also the turning point in their advantage over Mercedes up till then.

      1. Merc broke agreement by introducing an engine a race before a further oil burning restriction. Typical Germans with bending engine rules, from Spa onwards they dominated. They could legally burn more oi than others.

        1. Mercedes voluntarily backdated the rule to include the engines they were then using, which were exempted from the rule. As I said above, the most obvious conclusion is Mercedes weren’t using oil for anything abnormal.

  5. Show me a customer team where the only thing stopping them winning races is the engine.
    Sure, there were rumours a couple of years ago when Williams looked like winners for a bit, but this problem’s gone away now hasn’t it – Sauber are up to date and Toro Rosso are now a Honda works team, if the Honda works.

    1. As soon as Renault get their engine in order, I can show you two :)

      1. I’d love it if that would happen this year, the Renault four (and Tag team) getting in among the Mercs and Ferraris. Exciting mix of drivers. Could Lewis and Seb deal with it?

        Probably too soon though, and if it did happen, I’d expect Red Bull to be out front.

  6. This is a really good news. For years engine manufacturers has being controlling clients performance through software updates, especially Mercedes Benz. This shall put an end to this mispractice.

    1. What are you talking about. Mercedes supply current spec engines while Ferrari on the other hand supply year-old outdated PUs. Let’s not get carried away now and try to paint Merc like some evil empire.

      1. @blackmamba

        Ferrari on the other hand supply year-old outdated PUs.

        Not this year.

      2. Mercedes supply current spec engines while Ferrari on the other hand supply year-old outdated PUs.

        Haas got new-spec PU’s the past 2 years. Sauber didn’t last year, due to financial reasons, but will get this year.

        What he is talking about is the constraints that Mercedes gave to customer teams. I think Massa hinted at it somewhere last year. E.g. the customer teams not being allowed to use the highest mode in qualifying, having to ask whether they can put the PU in specific modes during the race, etc.
        There’s also this story:

        1. @mattds

          Actually that is not so.

          The reality is that the fia already monitor live all the different engine characteristics at each race (that’s the row of guys on computers in the fia office) through the ecu – they can tell when there are variances as its obvious in the traces. GP+ did a big article on this and it’s soemthing all the nay sayers in F1 should get hold of (subscription only).

          Lotus used Renault and Mercedes and the team principal indicated in a press meeting that the Mercedes contract specified equality to the works engines except for any occasion where they implement a new development. The team use it and evaluate it for one race first. If it works then customers get it at their next scheduled change. Not of much interest if there are only three for the year.

          The issues such as Massa mentioned are where a team is trying save money, use fewer engines and get through the year and in those circumstances access to the super power areas are limited in number because (the important bit) you intend to use fewer engines than allow3d thus they have to go further – as Williams did. They used and paid for one fewer engine than others used that year. Its a bit nuts to think you can have the cake and eat it.

          Other issues such as Macca are where a snotty Ron got fed up with suddenly being dumped and made it look like Merc were not supplying equal units when it was his sponsors that were causing the issue as the Mercedes engine was 50bhp down due to not using the oil and fuel it was designed with. It’s a seriously important part of development in any racing series down to karting levels and no doubt Merc reduced output to ensure reliability. Hardly a shock.

          1. The use of an inferior fuel and lubricants by McLaren is one I hadn’t heard before, and if true then it raises some questions of whether McLaren only did this with the engines from Mercedes, or did they do that with Honda as well? It seems Melbourne is going to be a very interesting Grand Prix.

          2. @drycrust – it was just for that first season of running the mercedes hybrid – since McLaren had their Mobil 1 partner instead of using Petronas. The other Mercedes teams all switched over (even despite having other fuel sponsors) for the better performance.

            Probably both to do with the ending Mercedes tie-up as well as their existing deal with their partner at the time.

      3. There was a story a while back about Lotus specifically being told not to use a certain function on the Merc engine by Merc themselves, I believe.

      4. Sorry – I got that slightly wrong, but the same principle applies. Lotus were allowed to use a ‘secret’ function on the engine by Mercedes, once.

        1. @ecwdanselby, on the other hand, I do have to question how reliable Carter’s claims are – Matthew Carter was employed by Lotus to overhaul their finances and “deliver better returns for their investors” (i.e. for Genii Capital), and seems to have been chosen mainly because he worked for Andy Ruhan, a major investor in Genii Capital. As an individual with no technical expertise – his career has been entirely in financial services – I am not sure that he is necessarily the best person to speak to about technical matters (there are some comments he makes in that interview which sounds rather odd).

        2. “Hammer Time” – My friends and I joke that Lewis has a secret mode that he’s allowed to turn on at those magic words.

          1. Yes, and no. It’s not so much a “secret” mode (going back to Bahrain 2014 when Rosberg and Hamilton were accusing each other of using a higher performance mode than the engineers had specified for the race), as it is using the higher performance mode means more engine wear, and thus less engine lifetime.

            A recent interview with James Allison commented that during 2017, Hamilton would frequently lower his engine’s performance mode, even below what the team wanted, so he would have more laps at higher performance later in the engine’s life– essentially, in addition to managing tires and fuel, Hamilton was managing his engine’s performance reserve across multiple race weekends.

            I suspect that was why Hamilton cheerfully settled for second at Malaysia– He lets Verstappen run the Red Bull hard to win the race, while Hamilton still finishes ahead of all of his actual rivals for the title, and still has performance reserves he can use at Suzuka the next weekend.

    2. @lamag At least Williams were actually competitive when they had a good chassis in 2014. Haas gets even more parts from Ferrari and they are miles away. Bad Ferrari! Bad!

      For all we know this is about Renault and Red Bull being afraid they don’t get the same level of performance. Over the last decade almost they are always the one getting the FIA to bend over backwards in aiding them.

  7. This is good news.
    But if anyone thinks a difference will be made to the pecking order think again. For example if you think Williams or Force India will be able challenge Mercedes or Hass will be able to challenge Ferrari you’re severely, severely out of touch with reality.
    This rule would only benefit a team like Red Bull if they had the same engine as the top 2.
    BTW I believe Paddy Lowe said multiple times last season that Mercedes supply everything the same.

    1. @ldg95 I don’t think anyone believes this will be a game changer for any of the lesser teams. Just a small help and a small gesture to help out the lesser teams a bit. And weren’t Mercedes accused last year of withholding special software modes or insisting that a certain lesser team only get to use it once?

      1. @robbie +1. This is clearly just a small rule change to help the problem. Indeed it was documented that Mercedes have a qualifying mode that their customers aren’t allowed to access, and when they let Lotus use it they finished on the podium. Nobody is suggesting that suddenly their customers will be winning races now, but hopefully there will be a small performance improvement to reduce the gap

      2. @strontium

        Mercedes restricted the use of special modes for Williams (Massa and his mouth) because Williams used one fewer engine than was allowed that year to save money. It’s that simple. Each engine has a certain mileage at x power and less at high power. Then it is unreliable. If you want to use fewer engines your not going to get your cake and eat it.

        1. @DrG That may be, but that may also just be about that one scenario and one certain mode. I think the idea is that it is also the principle of it, and not all customer teams will always try to use one less engine to save money. That would be quite hard to do now that it is 3 engines after which grid penalties are applied anyway. Hard to imagine a team is going to use 2 engines this season. I think it can’t hurt for the teams to at least have more options and make their own decisions moreso than they have obviously had before this rules tweak. I’m sure that if a mode could break an engine, Mercedes for example, would happily provide enough information relevant to all their customers about each mode, as they would not want to see their engines failing. I would think there’d be a ‘manual’ of recommendations for the different modes.

  8. this is great news, but sadly I don’t think it will truly stop the practice of Qualy modes and give all teams fair use of it.
    The regulations state identical software, unless declined, which I think is where this “loophole” will be exploited. I very much doubt that the overall software packages and settings that Mercedes use for their Q3 mode will become fully available, and what is stopping them, or Ferrari, or Renault, from developing a “standard” software which they provide as-is to customer teams, and then they themselves utilising the “unless declined” wording to develop yet another self-made solution to re-initiate some advantage that then doesn’t fall under the engine dossier and homologation rules, but becomes a team-specific function.
    I have to say I don’t know enough about F1 V6 hybrid engine ECU management to really say this is the case, but under current (pre-today) rules most customer teams were given some sort of Q3 mode, but told “only for x no. of laps per weekend”. That same application may apply, lets say Ferrari give Q3 mode to Haas and Sauber, but then develop a Q3+ mode which is their own IP, would they have to provide that too? How much of the engine management and team interoperability falls under an individual teams responsibility rather than the teams “engine supplier” status??

    1. I Think you are reading it incorrectly, as it sounds like you are under the impression that the manufacturer is the one who can decline, but as I read it, it is in fact the customer who has the right to decline using the exact same software.

      1. no i read what you’re saying, and asking, when does an engine manufacturer start being a race team?
        then, am suggesting that under those same rules, couldn’t they release the Engine management software package, including Q3 modes, and then themselves develop their own, by essentially declining to use the “engine supplier” software, and in turn using the “team software” instead.

        I still don’t think either way that customer teams will have the same access as manufacturer-backed ones, like Ferrari, Mercedes or Renault. As someone said above, this is essentially why Ron Dennis said McLaren will never win as a customer team, they need that works partnership. How tightly that integrates defines how much that is worth however.

        Along with most people here, I’m extremely keen to see how McLaren get on with Renault, and how they compare with the same engine as Red-Bull, this will be the first time that Red-Bull have ever had a rival “big four” team use the same engine!

      2. I think the point is this could be exploited by the manufacturers to negotiate with customer teams to persuade them to opt not to use it. I reckon it will all come down to the enforcement of the rule

      3. I think @graigchq may have a point. Consider this (I’m using Mercedes as example but it could also work for Ferrari and Renault): AMG High Performance Powertrain is the company that supply the engine to 3 teams, included with it an identical software per new rule. However, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team may decline the supplied software in place of using their own software. It’d be hard to explain why Mercedes F1 team can build better software than AMG HPP for their own engine, but there some ways to circumference it:
        1. An AMG HPP employee resigned and hired by Mercedes F1 team, with perfectly choreographed papers and other legal issues;
        2. A coded message in common supplied documents. Maybe 1000 page of engine manual filled with mostly junk useless information unless you know what and where to find it;
        3. They just said they prefer 2017 software and just patch it to support 2018 engine or AMG HPP made 2018 engine to be backward compatible software wise. The secret mode already in there and Mercedes F1 doesn’t need to prove they “cheated” because it’s old software and maybe their engineers prefer the UI or some other excuse.

        P.S.: This is just a scenario, I didn’t accuse nor have any evidence that Mercedes actually cheating.

        1. this is what i’m getting it yes…

          1. getting “at” oops

        2. This is a very clever idea – as a lawyer it would work: but these are sporting regulations, which are to be used in good faith. If they were to try any of these, they would be in contravention of good faith. It would be pretty brazen and it would get out (especially option 1 and 3).

          1. @hahostolze There was a sayin, if you don’t cheat, you haven’t tried enough. While a debate of whether each team should behave and follow the spirit of the rule is separate discussion, the reality is F1 teams has and always want to gain whatever advantage they could.

  9. Good idea in principle, but how are they going to control and enforce compliance with this clarification? Even with identical hard- and software, my impression is that the competitive edge in operating an engine is based on knowledge. And that’s an advantage that’s rather unlikely to go away. Just think of the infamous defeat devices in diesel engines. They’re programmed to do their job while staying under the radar, and can only be discovered with extensive testing. It would be relatively easy to program software bits that fulfill an unremarkable token purpose, but can unleash their true potential in the hands of the engineers who were involved in their development.

  10. While on the face of it I think this is good news, I think the rule change should have offered more flexibility to all parties. I think the engine suppliers should be able to offer engine tiers at different prices. This would allow a team to decide how much they spend on engines and whether they want to run with an older engine in a particular year so they could put more money into other aspects of their cars.
    I also wonder how this will work with engine upgrades during the season. I would expect an upgraded engine to be used on the factory team until the changes have been proven effective and reliable. However it sounds like doing that would not be against the rules.

    1. I would expect an upgraded engine to be used on the factory team until the changes have been proven effective and reliable. However it sounds like doing that would not be against the rules.

      @velocityboy, that already happens. Mercedes didn’t deliver the final spec PU to either Williams or Force India for (if I remember correctly) the last 2 seasons, under the auspices that they were so far ahead in development & reliability that the spec included bleeding-edge developments aimed at the following season.

      1. @optimaximal That’s my point. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t see anything in the revised rules that allows for the factory team to be the only one using the upgraded engine until it’s been sorted out.

        1. @velocityboy The FIA will likely question the manufacturers if approached by customer teams who claim they are being held back by the manufacturer withholding upgrades.

          The FIA will also likely not enforce or sanction if it turns out that there are genuine reasons, such as unreliability, a production lead time or just timings as a result of the engine lifecycle rules.

    2. @velocityboy That’s a bad idea and against the spirit of F1 I think. Why a team consciously want to buy worse engine? I know Sauber and STR has used year old engine before and it doesn’t work well for them. The only thing it could add is a certainty that some team wouldn’t beat another team with higher tier engine. Team budget is a problem we best solve via other ways.

      1. @sonicslv It’s just a matter of having options. As the smaller teams have limited resources, if they for instance felt that their chassis was inadequate, they could choose to use a ‘B’ spec engine for one year and spend the money they saved on the chassis. I’m not saying that would be ideal, it just gives the smaller teams an option on how best to spend their money for any given year.

        1. @velocityboy I get what you mean, but I still think B spec is bad idea. Creating the B spec itself could mean additional cost for the manufacturer and in the end it will be a bad deal for the team (not that much cheaper, almost guaranteed to be behind, and expected lack of support and updates compared to the A spec customers, if they get any). Instead B spec, I think it’s better (although harder) to get a cheaper supplier, maybe Cosworth or new manufacturer. For all disaster of the Honda engine and lack of main sponsors, McLaren still pretty healthy budget wise because they get Honda back to F1. Compare that to Sauber that only buying old Ferrari engine. I know we can’t really compare team as big as McLaren with Sauber, but I want to highlight that McLaren deal with their situation smarter than Sauber. Ironically, Sauber best days is when they partnered with BMW, so it’s not like they don’t know how to reach out.

    3. @velocityboy What you want, caused most of the performance gap in the late 90’s and early 00’s, not aero. After the freeze and allocations in the late 00’s, gaps shrunk, I recall the 08 belgian gp with all cars qualifying within, around 1.5 secs.
      Freeze is gone but allocations are too stringent they are enhancing gaps.

  11. As a Force India, this should help the team in combating Mclaren and Renault threat this year.

    1. How about the difference between renault en RBR regarding the oil companys related to the same oil/fluids rule?

  12. Watch for Stroll and Sirotkin in the Williams Mercedes to embarrass Hamilton and Bottas in the works Mercedes.

    1. Oh I think that’s a given now.

  13. I think Paddy Lowe at Williams knows quite well what are the differences and how to make sure Williams gets the maximum out of the Mercedes engine.

    Now engine manufacturers will change their PUs so that only they can run the PUs at max by some technical things teams are responsible for themselves – like cooling, packaging etc. Then PU manufacturers can say, that the PU is capable, but your installation is not.

  14. This is good news, it may not help for a win against a Mercedes or Ferrari but those teams buying those two engines may be able to close a few tenths in qualifying. Can’t judge the Renault because they get beat by Red Bull anyways.

  15. I know it’s good news and I appreciate the effort, but it still feels “too little, too late”. I hope Brawn keeps moving F1 in this direction, only faster and proactively.

  16. This reminds me off a F1 fanatic article a while ago with grosjean claiming Mercedes unlocked high power mode temporarily to give him the chance to pass Vettel at Spa, so the customers had the tech all along, just no instructions/access to use it.

    1. @emu55 Apparently Mercedes has a very complicated system to calculate/guestimate how much abuse the engine can still survive. Without this it would be rather dangerous to go for a higher power mode without know if the engine can still handle it.

      Mercedes famously ignored their own system warning them and let Rosberg use a higher power mode to try to catch Vettel in Monza and promptly his engine blew.

  17. sure, the software will be “the same,” but who says Merc/Ferrari will remember to tell the customers to press up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start.

  18. There is a risk that this doesn’t mean what you think it means…..the language used is interesting and it all comes down to whether mercedes (for example) is a supplier to itself, as it only applies to teams you supply as a manufacturer, I’d ensure that it was my team that “built it” therefore no supply takes place. There may well be good clarifications of this in the rules to protect this loop hole, does anyone know?

  19. Brilliant rule change!!

  20. Or, if you spent an insane amount of money as a manufacturer to create the PU, why give it to the others?

    If I were the manufacturer of a winning engine, I would’ve keept it to myself only (no customer).

  21. The change is good, but mmm, basically this means that if renault, red bull and mclaren were in a legitimate position to battle for the title, renault would end the contract with the other 2, as it can no longer get an advantage by giving them weaker PU.

    Cause obviously, why would you supply someone and give them a chance to challenge for a title you otherwise would win?

  22. I see this as more of FOM/FIA power play…a response to the call: “Something must be done! Something must be done!” about auto manufacturer power in F1 power circles. Maybe it will be of some help to the non-factory teams – IF they have the same fuel suppliers and clever firmware guys.

    The big 3 engine suppliers have been fairly beneficent in the new engine era. It could have been much worse.

    Will be interesting to see who blinks first in the next engine era. The big 3 still hold the horses and could tire of the circus. What if in 2021 the only engine provider is Honda. And an Aston Martin badged Honda. And a McLaren badged Honda. And a Stroll badged Honda.

  23. I’m not sure what to make of this as I though this was already supposed to be the case.

    Can’t see it being any different, just another case of the FIA making a meaningless announcement to make it see relevant?

  24. This all started with what Grosjean told to his engineer after Spa-2015 that they used a special engine mode to try and beat Vettel so he doesn’t finish on podium.
    But the question is: why can’t Grosjean use this engine mode himself? If Mercedes engineer told the Frenchman to switch several toggles, why Grosjean can’t do it again himself?

  25. How can they police this? It sounds like a wonderful rule but I just don’t see how it can be regulated.

  26. Just two more points:
    1-new rules assume each PU client have to pay same money to the their respective manufacturer (just PU cost, gearbox and other stuff excluded).
    2-once a new spec PU is ready, everyone (manufacturer and clients) has to have that same spec running.
    …very hard to apply IMO…

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