According to FIA president Jean Todt, regardless of the ridiculous grid penalties for using more than four engines in 2017, the sport will trudge ahead with reducing that number to three in 2018. One can, like red Bull’s Christian Horner, assume there will be even more grid penalties coming. Jean said:
“It is something that was decided,” explained Todt. “Some people are still thinking, why don’t we have one engine for the whole championship?
“It is not something that is new. It was decided years ago for 2018.
“We had some meetings with teams and the way the regulations are made and the governance are made, to decide now to go back to four engines, or let’s go back, we need to be in 100% agreement.
“And we don’t get 100% agreement, so we are down to three engines.”
The regulation was agreed upon as a way to cut costs but to be fair, it’ now being seen by manufacturers as a tactical advantage given Renault and Honda’s failure rate versus Mercedes and Ferrari. In short, the lack of reliability is a a sort of natural selection that removes two of the manufacturer’s competitors leaving only Mercedes and Ferrari to battle for the title and all the money.
Jean Todt says that it has more to do with helping other, smaller competitors.
“I don’t feel it is easy to find the right solution,” he said. “If you don’t do anything – it will be more expensive to buy the engines.
“For the FIA to decide that you don’t have limited amount of engines, it won’t be a problem, but it would be a problem for the competitors.”
I understand his point but I would argue that doubling the smaller team’s engine supply costs hasn’t exactly been a great result of the new engine period.
Fans hate the grid penalties. Most of the teams hate the grid penalties and the impact it has on the sport is very negative and turns fans off. Since this is the case and only manufacturers care about engine limits, why don’t we remove constructor’s points for engine changes instead of grid penalties? Why punish the driver for something beyond their control?
The Constructor’s championship is the only one worth measuring for money these days so if you really want to make a statement about costs and reliability, then hit the teams where it really matters. They don’t care about grid penalties as much as losing big constructor points because that actually means serious money. Just a thought.
Hat Tip: Autosport