On the back of the confirmation that Formula One's engine token system is set to be scrapped in 2017, designer Adrian Newey is lamenting the political games that manufacturers are playing to put the regulations to their hands.
Speaking at zoom-auction, Newey quickly dismissed the beliefs that power unit performance would converge by removing the limits on development.
However, that was the public claim of Renault Sport managing director Cyril Abiteboul, who said that as part of a deal to ensure a cheaper engine supply to customer teams, the token system would be scrapped to remove performance gaps as they exist now.
Under the current regulations, teams are limited a number of items they can change on their engines one year to another. Designed to limit spending for the development of the hybrid power units as of 2014, the limit effectively only limited the focus of the engine manufacturers who went on to spend whatever was necessary on the set items that could be changed.
While Honda may still make considerable progress into 2016, even with limited development tokens, Renault's performance issues are a combination of deficits all over the engine and ERS systems, possibly requiring the use of more tokens to update many different parts of the power unit.
The removal of the token system though goes in the opposite direction of the regulations decisions made in 2012, and is the result of a political stabbing game, where manufacturers wanted something back in exchange for a reduced cost of customer engines.
“It’s very curious to me that we have this set of regulations where the manufacturer has to supply the same hardware to other teams but it’s no under no obligation to supply the same software and therefore the same performance,” said Newey.
“Nobody is complaining about this because the customer teams can’t complain because their contract doesn’t allow them to.”
The Englishman however backed Red Bull's engine supplier Renault, in saying that have always been fair in supplying each of its teams with identical software.
He finalised by reminding people of Colin Chapman and Ford, who put the sport first by supplying competitors with the dominant Coswrth DFV engines, even though Chapman's Team Lotus has exclusive usage right in 1967.