Date: 3rd September 2014 at 11:17am
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Renault have joined Ferrari in calling for the current engine freeze to be lifted.

Under the current regulations, after a certain date in the calendar, Formula One engine manufacturers are not allowed to make any further developments to their engines.

Engine suppliers are limited to only being able to make alterations to engine mapping and software, with any changes to mechanical parts limited to special occasions with advanced permission in the case of reliability, safety or cost.

Since the change in regulations for 2014 with the introduction of the new turbocharged V6 hybrid power-unit era, Mercedes have dominated, either with their own car or with customer teams Williams, McLaren and Force India.

Autosport Magazine compiled a table of engine performance with Mercedes claiming 9 victories to Renault’s 3. Taking all 12 pole positions this season, 10 fastest laps with Renault and Ferrari taking one each, with Mercedes claiming 26 podium finishes in comparison to Renault’s 8 and Ferrari’s 2.

In terms of Grand Prix laps led, Mercedes dominance is even further illustrated with 639 laps led, ahead of Renault’s 71 and Ferrari’s 32.

Obviously with Mercedes dominating, rivals Ferrari and Renault have called for the engine freeze to be lifted, to improve competition.

First was Ferrari Team principal Marco Mattiacci and now new Renault Sport managing director Cyril Abiteboul [formally of Caterham] has also backed the call.

‘I’ve already seen the difficulty for some teams, and I think it may be the majority of teams in F1 now, to pay for the cost of the technology of the current regulations, so I think we need to be a little bit sensible,’ Abiteboul told Autosport.

Abiteboul’s main concern is that costs may spiral, but would like to see competition improved.

‘But there should be a system to allow performance to converge rather than performance to diverge. I know that no one wants to force the sport to go into a certain direction [of increased costs] but this is a sport that has to be a sustainable business to all the players.

He however added that end at the end of the season the engine manufacturers are allowed to make changes to their power-units, something that Renault intend to do as much as the regulations allow.

‘We have a system [a partial lifting of the freeze] that will allow us to do quite a lot of changes, because 48 percent of the power unit will be able to change next year. And we intend to change 48 percent of the power unit.’