I was wondering about this, token restriction has been removed, but since teams can only use 4 PUs that´s actually a development restriction
My question is, will that really prevent teams and PU manufacturers from developing their PUs to any point? Or they might accept some penalty to introduce some more upgraded PU?
I guess it will depend on each PU perfomance and expected improvement for each particular development, so if Mercedes continue as the reference they probably will comply with the 4 allocations rule, but what about the rest if they continue a step (or several) behind?
I think as soon as they see some margin for improvement they´ll go for it even if that brings toghether a penalty, because currently grid position is not that important. Well it is if you´re fighting for victories, but for those who dont I think a better PU might be a bigger advantage than a better grid position. Depending on the improvement obviously.
So it will depend on each PU perfomance and manufacturer work at factory to find new improvements. For example I´d be surprised if Honda only use 4 PUs for the season, as they´re changing the whole layout (or a big part) and that means their learning curve is still on an abrupt ascend, so for them a penalty will probably be worth.
About Renault and Ferrari, I´m not sure, probably it will depend on how good their PUs are at the start of the season, but if I had to place a bet (and I have to, winter is boring
) I´d say Renault might be ok with 4 PU while I won´t be surprised if Ferrari need some more to reduce the gap