ENGINE TOKENS TO STAY: The FIA has ruled that teams will be able to use engine upgrade tokens during the 2016 season. Image: Mercedes
Formula 1's struggling engine manufacturers will be able to deploy performance upgrade 'tokens' during the 2016 season.
The news follows a key meeting on Thursday (Oct 15) in Geneva, in which it was also agreed between the FIA and engine makers to overturn the newly-published regulation outlawing the use of year-old 'power units' in 2016.
That will leave the door open for Red Bull and Toro Rosso to do last-minute 2015-specification engine deals with Ferrari and stay in F1.
'Biggest problem is time'
Former Red Bull driver, Mark Webber, told the Red Bull-owned publication Speed Week: "The guillotine is there but I hope it doesn't come down. I think they will stay. Maybe the solution for 2016 will not be perfect but both teams will be able to continue. Who will be the partner? I have no idea.
"The biggest problem now is time."
However, Speed Week reports that Bernie Ecclestone's proposal to revive a normally-aspirated V8 option for Red Bull was voted down at the meeting, attended by representatives of the FIA, Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda.
Webber, meanwhile, also urged the sport to "support Honda" as McLaren's works engine partner struggles to improve amid the development restrictions.
Those restrictions were set to tighten even further for 2016, with the amount of 'tokens' to reduce from 32 to 25, while 'in-season' performance development was set to stop completely.
Good news for Honda, Renault
However, at Thursday's meeting, it was reportedly agreed that engine manufacturers will in fact get the same rules in 2015 as are currently in place - 32 tokens that can be used throughout the entire season.
It is good news especially for Honda and also Renault.
Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost told F1's official website: "I expect them to be much closer in 2016."
And Leo Turrini, a Ferrari-linked media insider, agreed on his blog that it made "no sense to condemn Renault and Honda to a condition of permanent inferiority".