Relaxing of engine rules up to Mercedes
10 October 2014 – Lifting some of the restrictions on the Formula 1 engine freeze is now up to Mercedes, following a meeting of the Strategy Group ahead of this weekend's Russian Grand Prix.
Under current regulations, work on engine development is heavily limited but Renault and Ferrari teams are keen for the rules to be changed for the 2015 campaign in order to allow greater competition between suppliers.
The Strategy Group comprises the FIA, FOM (which both have six votes) and six Formula 1 teams with one vote each – Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus and Williams – with only a majority vote required, therefore meaning that the motion can now be put forward to the Formula 1 Commission.
However, for rule changes to be implemented by the Formula 1 Commission, it requires unanimous support from all 11 Formula 1 teams, as well as other promotional parties, in order for the proposal to be put forward to the FIA's World Motor Sport Council for final implementation into next year's regulations. Crucially, this means that the four teams that will use Mercedes power in 2015 need to back the changes.
Red Bull's Christian Horner says that Mercedes changed its stance on allowing rules to be relaxed following a meeting held at last month's Singapore Grand Prix.
"In Singapore the teams unanimously agreed on a position and then, I think, subsequently from that meeting, Mercedes changed their position," he said.
"We've subsequently had a strategy meeting and it's been voted on a majority basis for that to go through to the Formula 1 Commission for in-season upgrades to be allowed. We'll see what the outcome of the Formula 1 Commission vote is. FIA are in support, FOM are in support.
"Obviously the non-Mercedes teams are in support – so we'll see what that holds in approximately a month's time."
Ferrari Team Principal Marco Mattiacci remains confident that the regulations can be relaxed.
"Thinking of frozen engines – this is not Formula 1," he said. "So I agree with Christian, now today we have the majority of the votes to move ahead on the idea to unfreeze the engine.
"Let's see what's going to happen during the F1 Commission."