Across the course of the Australian Grand Prix weekend, the FIA confirmed how many ‘tokens’ each of the four engine manufacturers in Formula 1 has remaining to use for in-season development in 2015.
Prior to homologating their engines at the beginning of each season, teams are able to spend some of their tokens on improving the power unit that they used at the end of the previous year.
Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault all had 32 tokens to spend on improving parts and developing their engines for the 2015 season, with the majority being used over the winter to make a step up from last year’s showing.
Despite initially being told that it would not be able to develop its engine in-season, Honda – returning to F1 in 2015 as an engine supplier – has been given the average total of engine tokens that the other three manufacturers have left over.
In a short statement released last week, the FIA confirmed the tokens used by Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault over the winter:
Ferrari: 22 of 32 tokens
Mercedes: 25 of 32 tokens
Renault: 20 of 32 tokens
“As a new power unit manufacturer for the 2015 season, Honda has been granted an allowance of nine tokens for in-season development,” the statement read. “This is based on the average of those available to the 2014 power unit manufacturers.”
Therefore, the remaining tokens are as follows:
Ferrari: 10 tokens
Honda: 9 tokens
Mercedes: 7 tokens
Renault: 12 tokens
Given that both Mercedes and Ferrari have made significant steps over the winter with their power units, it is not surprising that both manufacturers have used most of their tokens. Ferrari will be hoping that its current advantage of three tokens could give it an edge in playing catch-up to the dominant Mercedes cars this year.
As for Renault, with over 1/3rd of its tokens remaining, it is perhaps unsurprising that the French supplier has endured a difficult start to the year. Red Bull may be frustrated by the shortcomings of the Renault power unit at the moment, but once the remaining tokens are used, it could yet come back into the picture at the front of the field.