Whilst Mercedes and Renault have confirmed they have yet to use any of their engine development tokens, it’s been revealed that both Ferrari and Honda have dipped into their allocation ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix.
Ferrari had previously hinted that they might bring an upgraded power unit to Canada, but that was dismissed by team principal Maurizio Arrivabene during the Monaco GP weekend.
“In Canada we will not use the tokens,” he stated. “But do not ask me when we will do it, because I do not want to give the information to the Germans [Mercedes].”
DEVELOPMENT TOKENS: WHO HAS WHAT?
Renault: 12, Ferrari: 7 (3), Honda: 7 (2), Mercedes: 7
Tokens can be spent on performance upgrades, whilst reilability can be improved upon freely. Though any changes must first be approved by the FIA following a rule change.
However it has been revealed in a document distributed amongst the teams this week that Ferrari have used three of their ten tokens, whilst Honda have used two of their nine.
Arrivabene’s comments in Monaco could just be a bluff to gain a surprise short-term advantage against Mercedes, but it’s likely that he’s telling the truth and the team have upgraded the power unit, but might not introduce it until later in the season.
This is a strategy which Honda are believed to have adopted. It’s expected the Japanese manufacturer will bring an upgraded unit to the following race in Austria which, like Canada, is a power hungry circuit.
Honda are instead focussing on reliability in Canada before bringing more power following a spate of technical troubles which have hampered McLaren’s progress.