Formula 1

McLaren in FIA talks after engine loophole exposed

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The McLaren F1 team are in talks with Formula 1’s governing body the FIA to try and get them to reconsider its decision to force Honda to stick to their pre-season engine homologation deadline after its rival’s were given more freedom after a loophole was exposed.

The newly-reformed McLaren-Honda partnership are hoping to be given dispensation to develop their engine during the season much like Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari, who all benefit from the FIA’s failure to state when their 2015 engines needed to be homologated.

The FIA have insisted the Honda have their final 2015-specification engine ready for February 28th, the day before pre-season testing is due to start in Jerez, but McLaren believe that their exclusion from being allowed to make changes during the year is unfair.

When the loophole was exposed by Ferrari, the FIA insisted that Honda would have to abide by the rules that Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari were forced to abide by in 2014.

“It was always envisaged, although not explicitly stated in the rules, that manufacturers would have to deal with modifications on the engine within the constraints of the rules, and then submit their 2015 engine [at the first race],” a FIA spokesperson revealed on Autosport.

“It is simple, but when you read it [the rule book], it doesn’t say that unfortunately.”

While the engine manufacturers are not allowed to make wholesale alterations to their engines, it still could mean that the three 2014 suppliers will be able to upgrade their engines while Honda will have to wait until the 2016 season.

A manufacturer is only allowed to alter a certain amount of its engine in a calendar year, while the number of engines a driver can use in 2015 has been reduced from five to four before penalties will come into play.

A brief statement from the McLaren team revealed that talks with the FIA are ongoing, but nothing has yet been announced regarding the results in those talks.

“McLaren-Honda has already been in contact with the FIA with regard to this issue, but we do not wish to say anything further at this time,” said the statement.

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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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