Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner had cautioned that the end of the engine development token system will lead to a spending war by the F1 manufacturers.
As part of the deal to cut customer supply prices – a move that will actually save RBR money – the FIA has agreed to abandon tokens from 2017, which means that there will be no restrictions on development after this season.
“What I don’t understand is totally getting rid of all tokens and opening all development,” said Horner. “Because that cannot be a healthy situation for the sport, to just encourage serial spending. I don’t think that will breed a healthy competition. That needs to be addressed moving forward, and hopefully the regulators will come up with some clear rules to deal with that in due course.”
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Asked if he feared that Mercedes would make better use of the freedom than rivals he said: “I don’t think you could pinpoint one or the other, but if it just ends up in a spending frenzy is that a healthy situation?
“For example, on the chassis we are very tightly governed in terms of the amount of wind tunnel we can use, the amount of simulation we can use for CFD. To be able to do as much running with as many engines on as many dynos and as much development as you like, it doesn’t seem a sensible solution.”