FIA make key decision amid power unit reliability concerns

Ferrari and Honda powertrains have been struggling with reliability this season.

A meeting of the FIA world motorsport council has decided that teams will be allowed more leeway surrounding their power units after multiple failures in recent races.

Between them, Red Bull and Ferrari have suffered seven reliability failures in the opening nine rounds of the season, while the Scuderia’s customer teams – Alfa Romeo and Haas – have encountered nine issues throughout the last four race weekends between them.

Red Bull’s junior team AlphaTauri endured three failures in the opening two race weekends of the season but have generally been okay since then, while Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez both retired from the Bahrain Grand Prix late on.

READ: Wolff claims ‘everyone has been against me’ as he responds to fresh cheating allegations

The Dutchman would be the victim of another failure in Melbourne, before Ferrari’s issues started to hit them hard.

Charles Leclerc was on the receiving end of problems while leading in Spain, before the same happened in Azerbaijan as team-mate Carlos Sainz also retired.

Perez would then retire from the Canadian Grand Prix with a gearbox failure as Verstappen took the victory to go 46 points clear in the Drivers’ Standings.

A freeze has been imposed on the engines until the end of 2025 that means that teams cannot develop their engines of install revised parts unless they are for reliability reasons.

This is still largely the case, but “temporary” changes to the power units will now be permitted in the interests of the longevity of the engine’s life, as long as those temporary parts are made from the “same” material as the one it is replacing or a “composite” one. This is all according to Article 5.8 of the technical regulations.

Article continues below

As before, new parts can be introduced to the engine in Parc Ferme conditions as long as that part is within the driver’s allocation of parts – if it is not, then a penalty will be applied.

READ: ‘The FIA cannot do that’: Red Bull fire warning as they air Mercedes cheating allegation

The changes to the part will, according to Article 17.4.3, be communicated to all other competitors by the FIA.

Article 3.15.12 has also been amended to affirm that beam wings are not permitted to deflect more than 3mm when placed under a force of 150N is applied to it.