Mercedes oppose move to free up engine development

Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:47am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Dominant Mercedes plan to block an attempt by Formula One rivals to relax the rules and allow engine development during the course of next season.

The engine rules are currently 'frozen' in-season to keep costs down after the introduction of costly new V6 turbo hybrid power units this year.

Renault-powered rivals Red Bull, dethroned by Mercedes as constructors' champions last weekend, and Ferrari want the rules relaxed to allow in-season development that might give them a chance to close the gap.

Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff told reporters in Russia last weekend that his team had already voted against the proposal in a strategy group meeting and would do so again when the matter goes to a Formula One commission meeting.

To be incorporated into the 2015 rules, there must be unanimous agreement.

"I don't think we will change our mind in the next month, whenever the commission meeting is going to take place," said Wolff, who added that any relaxation would only increase costs.

He said there was also every chance the performance gap would remain the same, if not grow larger, with Mercedes also pushing hard to improve their engine.

Mercedes have won 13 of 16 races so far, with nine one-two finishes. They will be supplying three teams next year in addition to their own.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain speeds during the first Russian Grand Prix in Sochi October 12, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov