The Cosworth article is a good read and gives as much of an insight as can be had into such an obviously secretive area, although because of that you have to take some of what is said with a pinch of salt. Whatever engine advantage you feel you have you want to stay locked in with the current homologation rules.
ESPImperium wrote:Ive always been told that F1 engines have as much as 3% differencial between them from the same manufacturer.
So if there is a 750hp engine, the next engine may be a 22.5HP differencial between the next one and the one previous to it.
This is the kind of statistical variance that I think was being alluded to in the Merc thread, and when you think about it it's quite sensible. When you're pushing the limits of various parameters like engine power and trying to trade off as much as you can with things like reliability then it is simply a fact that you are going to get a bell shaped curve distribution in what a sample of your engines are able to achieve. If you've got a flat distribution then your engines are well, well within tolerances and are consistent, but from a motorsport engine that has a limited lifespan that's not what you want because the sample you'll be using won't be producing as much power as they could do. The fact that there is acknowledged, significant degradation alone over the life of an engine should tell you there can be sizeable variances.
Engines are also homologated, and at least engine designs frozen. Engine manufacturers are now pushing the limits of what power they can get out of a set design and trading off against reliability and degradation, so if anything, the bell curve will be more pronounced. An engine manufacturer cannot change the design of engine in any significant way to equalise those factors.
It's an interesting subject, if one shrouded in obvious secrecy, smoke and mirrors, and I believe it has been an emotive area to discuss in the past so it would be nice if it can be kept cordial.