Power unit development creates extra headache for teams

The in-season development is both a blessing and a curse for Formula One teams.

Power unit development creates extra headache for teams
Details of the power unit of the Mercedes AMG F1 W06
Renault logo on the Red Bull Racing RB10 engine cover
Details of the power unit of the Mercedes AMG F1 W06
Ferrari F14-T engine cover
Honda Formula 1 power unit for the 2015 season
Mercedes AMG F1 W05 engine cover
The power unit of the Mercedes AMG F1 W06
McLaren Honda logo and signage

The introduction of in-season power unit development in 2015 will create an extra headache for both the teams and the manufacturers, some of the sport's key players admit.

In 2015 the manufacturers will be allowed to use up engine development tokens during the season, rather than before the season, as had been the FIA's original intention.

Last year was already a little bit of a headache, it's just going to be more complicated.

Eric Boullier

The problem they now face is the timing of the introduction of any updated parts, as it has to be done with an eye on how much mileage the previous examples have done.

The difference

Last year, when there was no development other than for reliability purposes, teams would not have had a problem using elements at the last race that had been in circulation as early as Melbourne, as long as they still had mileage on them.

Now they risk a dip in performance if they are forced to go back to earlier parts. While mileage on older equipment could be used up on Fridays, juggling the elements around still presents a challenge, especially now drivers only have access to four power units before penalties kick in.

Cause and effect

“If you do use tokens up through the year then the introduction of that will mean what you had previously, you won't want to use,” said Mercedes engine head Andy Cowell when asked by Motorsport.com.

“Which does complicate it. That's one of the things to consider as you come up with ideas and decide what you want to do.”

Meanwhile McLaren's Eric Boullier said: “Last year was already a little bit of a headache, it's just going to be more complicated. It's true that four engines, with an upgraded package in the middle, we have to be very cautious how we manage our laps, especially on Fridays.”

shares
comments
Mercedes engine chief: Our rivals will catch up
Previous article

Mercedes engine chief: Our rivals will catch up

Next article

Ferrari: Real progress or another false dawn?

Ferrari: Real progress or another false dawn?
Load comments
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Prime

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Motorsport.com heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Prime

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022