F1: FIA, engine manufacturers support 2016 rule changes

Engines have been a huge topic of discussion as teams prepare for the 2016 season.

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A meeting between the FIA and the four Formula 1 engine manufacturers was held in Geneva on Thursday to address some crucial issues for 2016 — including two key rule changes.

As things currently stand, the 2016 FIA Sporting Regulations specify there is no development after engines are homologated by the usual Feb. 28 deadline.

It was allowed this year, via the token system, after an anomaly in the rules was spotted. The 2016 regulations also specify that only one specification can be used during the season.

However, Thursday’s meeting provisionally agreed that development will indeed be allowed during 2016, as it was this year. This will be a huge boost for both Honda and Renault, as they attempt to close the gap on their rivals.

In addition, the possibility of using year-old engines is back on the table, after Manor Marussia was given dispensation this season to use the 2014 Ferrari unit. This will potentially open a door for both Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Only members of the FIA and representatives of the four engine manufacturers, with Toto Wolff (Mercedes), Maurizio Arrivabene (Ferrari), Cyril Abiteboul (Renault) and Yasuhisa Arai (Honda) joined by their top engineers. The other teams were not present.

As the proposals require rule changes for next season, they still have to go through the process of being formally drafted and unanimously agreed by all the teams at the F1 Commission. It then has to be ratified by the World Motor Sport Council. At the moment, no date has been set for the next F1 Commission meeting.