It remains possible the FIA will do a u-turn after excluding Honda from the new engine development ‘unfreeze’.
McLaren and its new 2015 works partner Honda were undoubtedly unimpressed recently when the FIA agreed that last year’s engine makers – Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari – will be allowed to develop their turbo V6s this season.
That is because F1’s governing body argued that Honda, as a new competitor, will be the only one that has to stick to the 28 February homologation date, just as the 2014 suppliers did. McLaren told us that, in respose to the ruling, the British team had been in contact with the FIA, while a Spanish newspaper quoted a Honda spokesman as saying the Japanese manufacturer is “angry and sad”.
Italy’s Autosprint reported last week that the disgruntled Honda had “been heard” by the FIA in a recent meeting, and the Paris federation had “decided to reconsider its position” with regards to the so-called unfreeze. “Taking note of their (Honda’s) concerns, the question remains open and will probably be defined at a later meeting”, correspondent Roberto Chinchero said.
The BBC reported on Wednesday that the subsequent meeting involving top FIA and Honda officials in fact happened on Monday. “The meeting went well,” said an FIA spokesman, “and we are discussing matters that arose.”
The BBC said it is possible one solution to the issue could be that Honda submits its 2015 engine for homologation on 28 February, as per the regulations, but is then allowed to join its rivals in having 32 development ‘tokens’ to use throughout the season. A spokesperson said Honda will not comment on the latest developments “until we can get a further update from FIA should they reveal something”.
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