The predicted difference of more than three tenths between Mercedes and Honda may cause the body chaired by Jean Todt to intervene.
The lack of competitiveness shown by the Honda engine during the preseason at the Barcelona Catalunya Circuit and the first race in Australia, is not the only matter that worries McLaren.
Although the exact numbers of power are not known publicly, the performances of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne in Montmelo and Albert Park have drawn a panorama where the Japanese driver has a significant deficit compared to Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault.
A difference that worries and much to the FIA. Recall that the sports regulations changed in April 2016 in some respects in relation to power units. One of these questions was that the difference between the most powerful engine and the weakest engine should not be more than three tenths.
In order to calculate the inequalities between the manufacturers and noting the current situation of Honda, the FIA has decided to advance two races this study.
In this way, Bahrain will be the layout where the pure performance of the four propellers will be compared, leaving aside the importance of the chassis in the whole of the car. Everything seems to indicate, except for a miracle on the part of Honda, that the difference between the best V6 Turbo and the worst will be more than three tenths.
A situation that is causing the FIA to be considering approving a special ‘Honda’ rule to allow the Japanese in 2018 to close the gap more quickly with their competitors:
Charlie Whiting, the race director, said,
“Before tackling something, we have to look first, how we judge the engines.”
In this case, the proposal of this ‘Honda’ rule would pass the usual route of any new standard that is to be approved. It should be approved first by the Strategy Group, then by the Formula 1 Commission and ultimately by the World Motorsport Council.
A process to follow that makes it not a simple coincidence that the power units will be evaluated in mid-April. The next meeting of the Strategy Group will take place on April 25th, where any changes to the 2018 regulations will be discussed, due to be published on April 30th.
But how could the ‘Honda’ rule be? It should be recalled that last year, Mercedes proposed to bring the performance of engines with a different fuel flow than the current one. Meanwhile, Zak Brown says it would be good for the sport that Honda would catch up quickly.
In a week where the future generation of engines has been discussed in Paris, the FIA does not want to wait for Honda to finally be competitive. If the presence of Mario Illien can help them achieve it, it would be a dream come true for McLaren and Honda.