Date: 10th February 2016 at 10:26am
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For the 2017 Formula One World Championship, manufacturers will not be limited by engine token regulations.

The original technical working group meetings and minutes from four years ago when the new V6 Turbo-Hybrid engine regulations were being drawn up had an agreement that engine development would be frozen from 2017 for the established teams and development would only be allowed for power-units to close any performance gaps that had occurred.

This plan has been dumped and all restrictions lifted at the end of the upcoming 2016 season.

This means that whilst the likes of Ferrari, Renault and Honda will be able to chase Mercedes without limits on development, it also means there are no limits on spending.

With Ferrari, Renault and Honda desperate to catch-up, Mercedes will also be desperate to keep their advantage, ensuring that they too will hit development hard.

Red Bull Racing technical chief Adrian Newey has been critical of the path that Formula One has taken since the move towards stricter aerodynamic controls.

He believes the lack of engine development regulations will see a rise in costs within the sport and potentially a performance gap increase amongst the teams.

‘It becomes a spending frenzy…the numbers being spent by the big manufacturers are eye-watering and so I think potentially for companies such as Renault who aren’t prepared to spend that sort of money it means actually the gaps get bigger not smaller.’ Newey told

Newey also criticised the lack of change to regulations that give the manufactures an advantage over their customer teams.

For example, Mercedes develop their power-unit for their factory team and also sell their power-unit to customer teams such as Williams, Force India and Manor.

But whilst the physical power-unit must be the same, there are no regulations insisting upon the software which best optimises it.

‘It’s very curious to me that we have this set of regulations where the manufacturer has to supply the same hardware to other teams but it’s no under no obligation to supply the same software and therefore the same performance, Nobody is complaining about this because the customer teams can’t complain because their contract doesn’t allow them to.’