Engine manufacturers fear Honda challenge

By on
F1 Test, Jerez, Circuit Permanente de Jerezes

The current engine manufacturers fear they may face a considerable disadvantage to Honda over the course of 2014 as the Japanese manufacturer is not yet obliged to the engine freeze before it enters competition in 2015.

The Japanese manufacturer earlier said it was anxious that it could fall behind as the Formula One's current engine suppliers can build race experience with the new turbo engines throughout 2014. Honda meanwhile is set to only enter F1 in 2015 even though they are already hard at work on their 1.6l V6 turbocharged engines.

Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari however will have to homologate their designs by 28 February, following which their designs for 2014 cannot be changed, apart from changes targeted at reliability. This also means that the final pre-season test in Bahrain will be run with the race-spec engines.

It worries the current manufacturers however that Honda can freely develop and test its engine. The company is present in all constructor meetings this year and could therefore draw valuable information out of the experiences that the current manufacturers get from racing in 2014.

"We talked at length with the other motorists", said Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali, "but we have not found a solution. We could not enforce Honda to freeze its engine as it is not yet registered in the world of F1 and, above all, an attitude of "closure" would alienate any other manufacturers who might be interested in Grand Prix racing. We realize that the Japanese will be able to enjoy a great advantage, being able to adapt its engine as a function of the problems that will be recorded during of the season, but we have not been able to do anything."

Even though this means the current manufacturers will be slightly more restricted and will be unable to track test any engine modification after 28 February, development is surely going to continue, all the more thanks to the introduction of variable length inlet trumpets as of 2015.