Formula one has been locked in an engine freeze for awhile now, with supposedly no development. This was put in place to reduce the massive cost of continuous engine development that the engine manufacturers were incurring. So after a series of rapid developments the engines were homologated and beyond that no development updated were allowed, only limited updates in the name of reliability.
Now this is where the problems come in, recently there have been complaints from various team principals that “some” teams have been increasing the power of their engines using the reliability updates as a cover. The team which seems to clearly be the biggest loser is Renault. Nowhere was this more obvious than at the European Grand Prix in Valencia where the Ferrari powered Toro Rosso’s stormed up the timing sheets and for the first time in the season had both cars in the top ten, the Renault powered Red Bull Racing cars didnt fare so well, being eliminated in Q3 and Q2. The top four cars in the speed trap at Valencia were all Ferrari powered, that says it all.
Now the rumors that the Mercedes power unit in the back of the McLarens seem to have at minimum a 25hp advantage over the rest of the field seem to be unfounded considering the advantage the Ferrari’s seem to have in a straight line.
This issue needs to be addressed sooner rather than later, as teams like Renault and Honda who seems way behind in the power stakes are going to want an official explanation from the FIA or will simply follow what the offending teams are doing. And in the end the so called engine freeze will be pointless. And we will end back to square one.