F1 engine allocation set to stay unchanged

Fri May 8, 2015 5:59am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Red Bull's hopes of staving off engine penalties this season look doomed, with teams set to reject a proposal to increase the allocation per driver from four to five when Formula One's strategy group meets next week.

While champions Mercedes are willing to agree, even if it erodes their advantage, the independent teams that pay the German manufacturer for engines appear opposed.

Force India deputy principal Bob Fernley said his team would resist anything that increased costs, while sources at Williams indicated it would make no sense for them to help rivals close the performance gap.

"I know it's on the agenda but I have no idea what the wording is. And more importantly I don't know what the cost implications are, because that will be the key to it," Fernley told Reuters at the Spanish Grand Prix on Friday.

He expected, however, that a fifth engine would cost an extra $1.5 million.

"That's why Williams wouldn't want it, why Lotus wouldn't want it and why we wouldn't want it," added the Briton, whose team have suffered cash-flow problems and have had to delay the introduction of upgrades.

Formula One allowed drivers five engines last year, the first of the new V6 turbo hybrid era, but the allocation was cut for 2015 with grid penalties for anyone exceeding the limit.

Force India and Williams are both on the key six team Strategy Group which also includes Mercedes, Renault-powered Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren-Honda.   Continued...

Red Bull Formula One Driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia drives out of the pit-lane during the third free practice ahead of Bahrain's F1 Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit, south of Manama April 18, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah