Formula 1 agrees to scrap power unit token system
Renault's Cyril Abiteboul has revealed that Formula 1 will scrap the current power unit token system, allowing for completely unlimited engine development from 2017 onwards.
At present, manufacturers are allocated 32 upgrade tokens which they can spend on various parts of the engine, with each area worth a specified amount of tokens. The amount of tokens was set to reduce to 25 in '17, dropping by a further five the following year before eventually reducing to just three.
However as part of an agreement between the four engine manufacturers; Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda as well as the FIA, the system will be dropped. Jean Todt granted the concession as part of a deal to reduce the cost of customer supply deals by roughly half to just €12 million (£9m).
It's hoped unlimited development - including those areas that are currently ring-fenced - will favour Mercedes' rivals, allowing them greater freedom to catch up according to Abiteboul.
"The token system is being removed," Abiteboul is quoted as saying by Motorsport. "One of the reasons we have all agreed to do this is that we all need the performance of the engine to converge.
"An F1 that is dictated by the performance of the engine is not good for anyone."
Engines will still be limited to four per driver in 2017, therefore upgrades can only be introduced when a driver takes on a new unit or component.