JUNE 30, 2015
Calls for engine rules fix grow louder
Calls for F1 to revisit the detail of its engine rules are growing stronger.
In Austria, the full extent of the current situation became clear when McLaren's cars were ordered an extraordinary 50 places down the 20-position grid.
"It's ridiculous," said former F1 driver and Britain's lead Sky commentator Martin Brundle.
The situation, with drivers are being penalised not only on the grid but also with drive-throughs during the race, has emerged due to the long-life rules.
Each driver is limited to just four 'power units' for the entire season, but some Renault and Honda-powered runners in particular quickly burned through their allocation before the calendar's mid-point.
"We agreed something in Malaysia to get rid of the four engine rule but that (change) was scuppered," said Red Bull boss Christian Horner.
"It's not a good situation to have big manufacturers like Renault and Honda publically berated in the way that we are.
"We need to have a good look at it," he insisted.
Eric Boullier, Horner's counterpart at McLaren-Honda, agrees, arguing that the extent to the 'freeze' on engine development is also too severe.
"I think we've gone too far with the limitation of development, and consequently the penalty system," he said.
"Racing is a competition, and in any competition you have to be able to develop yourself to be better.
"I think you should be allowed to have free development," said Boullier, "end of story. No debate, no penalties -- don't make it complicated, for us but, even more, for the fans," the Frenchman added.
Monisha Kaltenborn, of Sauber, thinks 'free development' would be going too far, but she does think something should be done to help F1's most struggling manufacturers.
"It is something to take seriously," she said, "because the fans will not accept another two years with these (sorts of) races."
But as things stand, the rules are only tightening further for 2016. The use of in-season 'tokens' this year, for instance, was only a loophole that was uncovered at the last minute by Ferrari.
"This formula one has become like alchemy," said Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne, "when it should be racing.
"Nobody understands anything anymore -- just look at drivers going 25 places down the grid," he is quoted by Italy's Autosprint. "We must become more humble to try to bring the show back to the circuit."