UPGRADED ENGINES FOR MONTREAL: Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene said his team won't spend 'tokens' though is preparing an upgraded package for the 2015 Canadian GP. Image: AP / Claude Paris
LONDON, England - Engine manufacturers are finally preparing to deploy in-season performance "tokens" in 2015.
Until now, although Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda had made modifications to "power units" on reliability grounds, none had traded in any 'tokens' to make performance gains under sports engine-freeze rules.
Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda announced that his team would use "fresh engines" during the 2015 Canadian GP on June 7.
Mercedes customer Lotus' chief Matthew Carter confirmed to SkyNews: "Mercedes are bringing an upgrade to the engine, so we have that to look forward to."
Unlike Ferrari, who are reportedly ready with a performance upgrade for Canada, Mercedes is believed to have not spent any tokens ahead of the Montreal race.
In Monaco, Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene said: "In Canada we will not use the tokens, but do not ask me when (we will) because I don't want the Germans (Mercedes) to know!"
Another manufacturer reportedly spending its first tokens of 2015 is Honda.
That is despite Jenson Button warning that the long straights of Montreal would not be good for the works Honda-powered McLaren team.
Button said: "Canada is mostly low speed corners but there are a couple of long straights which will be tricky for us.
"It is a circuit that won't suit us well."
The International Automobile Federation explains a power unit supplier is allocated a set budget of tokens it can spend on engine/parts development. The federation plans to reduce the number of tokens each year from 32 in 2015 to 15 by 2018.
According to the federation: "The power unit is divided into families of functions, with each family being given a certain importance, labelled as category 1, 2 or 3 components. For example, the pistons are ranked 2, while the ignition system is ranked 1.
"The power unit is made up of the sum of these ranked items with the complete unit being represented by the total number 66. Each year, manufacturers will be allowed to choose what parts of the engine to develop and will spend a set budget of 'tokens'.
"This development budget decreases each year. For 2015 the budget available to teams is 32 tokens (close to 50% of possible development) but for 2018 the budget drops to 15 tokens (less than 25% of possible development)."
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