Alpine executive director Bruno Famin is expecting the FIA to become “stricter” in regard to power unit upgrades “in the future”, with the Frenchman stating that the FIA received “70 requests” by a variety of manufacturers if they could make tweaks to their power units.
Alpine are, of course, powered by Renault, who are one of four engine suppliers as it stands.
Renault, Mercedes, Red Bull/Honda and Ferrari are the current four engine manufacturers on the grid, with Audi set to join in 2026.
An engine freeze is currently in place until the new engine regulations are introduced in three years’ time, with only reliability upgrades allowed.
Famin has been impressed by how transparent the governing body have been since the introduction of the engine freeze, with every manufacturer having been aware when a side made a request to work on their engine.
“I think the process in 2022 with the FIA and the other manufacturers was quite good. At least it was transparent, so everyone knew about each other’s requests, and that’s very good,” Famin said, as per Motorsport-Total.com.
“In 2022 it was quite tolerant. I think that was quite normal because everyone was affected by reliability issues. I think we had 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 requests from different manufacturers, so everyone was affected by this type of problem.”
A concern that has been raised is that reliability improvements can result in performance increases, something Ferrari in particular have benefited from.
According to reports, the Italians power unit will be capable of producing an extra 30hp in 2023, after solving their reliability issues.
With this in mind, Famin is expecting the FIA to become stricter over what can and can’t be changed on a power unit, with the risk being that fixing a reliability issue could provide a “potential performance gain”.
“I expect the FIA to be a bit stricter in the future, but I don’t have any information,” Famin said.
“What is a pure reliability issue? That’s a question we can’t answer because the reliability issue often hides a potential performance gain.
“If you have a problem with the water pump, like we had in 2022, it’s clearly a pure reliability problem: there’s no point in using a different water pump.
“But if you have to change the material of the piston rings to have something stronger, to have more power, where is the limit? It’s not obvious.”