LONDON, England – The McLaren
Formula 1 team has been given a boost by the sport’s governing body now
allowing Honda, the team's new engine partner, to develop its engine through
2015 in line with rival manufacturers.
HONDA'S 2015 POWER UNIT: Formula 1's governing body has agreed to let: Honda amend its engines through 2015 - in line with other power unit-makers.. Image: Honda
The Japanese company, which has
replaced Mercedes as McLaren’s ”power unit” supplier, is returning to F1 as a
Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari were
already allowed to introduce limited upgrades during the season but Honda, as a
new entrant, had been told to present its engine for approval on February 28 2015
with no further development permitted.
Honda met International Automobile
Federation officials on February 12 to present its view that the situation was
unfair. Now a document issued to teams on February 16 by F1 race director
Charlie Whiting, seen by Reuters and confirmed by the federation, did not name
Honda but clarified the situation with an amendment in its favour.
"As each of the four 2015
manufacturers will have an homologated power unit at the start of the season we
believe it would be fair to ensure that each of them enjoys equal opportunities
for upgrades during the season," it said.
"We will therefore allow the
new manufacturer to use the same number of tokens that the other three
manufacturers have available to them, taken as an average of the three.
"For example, if the three 2014
manufacturers have eight, seven and five unused tokens respectively at the
start of the season, then the new manufacturer will be allowed to use six
during the season."
FOUR TITLES LAST TIME OUT
The current manufacturers are
allowed to improve their engine using a complicated system of 'tokens' within
set limits. They are assigned to parts of the engine and divided into three
categories, meaning that some parts require more than others and manufacturers
must choose which areas to improve.
There are 66 tokens and pre-existing
manufacturers can use 32 during the course of 2015, with the number reduced
over time so that by 2018 there will be only 15 available.
Honda, partner to McLaren from 1988-92
when they won four Constructors' titles, quit F1 as a constructor at the end of
McLaren has not won a race since
2012 and finished fifth in the Manufacturers’ standings in 2014. Double F1 champion
Fernando Alonso has now joined the team from Ferrari to partner Briton Jenson
The season will start in Australia
on March15, with 2014 F1 champion team Mercedes again expected to set the pace
after a dominant 2014.