Home > News > More engine tweaking

More engine tweaking

February 24th, 2009

Toyota TFf109 engineThe new engine rules for 2009 are set to be refined by the FIA to make it so teams cannot change an engine after the start of Saturday morning practice.

The regulations aimed at cutting costs were announced in December last year and limit a driver to using no more than eight engines during a Championship season.  Since then there has been some confusion as to when new engines may be used.

This latest change seems to go against FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting’s comments in a technical briefing last month which seemed to indicate he expected teams to change engines during an event:

What the teams will do is to have a Friday engine that’ll probably do the first four races or something of that nature. They’ll then take the engine out and use another one for Saturday and Sunday.

The tweak to the regulations comes from a request from the teams.  Renault’s engineering director Pat Symonds told Autosport.com:

All the teams I’ve spoken to feel that that’s a little bit against the way we’re trying to do things, and it will mean that you will have to take more people to the races. If we blew an engine on Saturday morning, of course we have enough people to change it. But we don’t have enough people to systematically change two engines, so we don’t really want that to be the case.

I guess this makes sense.  There’s no point saving money on the number of engines used in a season if you just have to spend it again on engineers to replace two engines every weekend.  It should also make it easier for fans to keep track of the state of the engines being raced.  But it does go to show how every regulation will be exploited by the teams to the maximum extent.

I would like to see some kind of press release from the FIA that totally clarifies the 2009 engine regulations and the penalties that will be imposed.  Maybe I’ve missed something but I’m still not entirely sure what will happen when a team uses a ninth engine.  Surely they will only be penalised once and not for every race that they use the ninth engine.  Will a penalty be applied for every new engine used after engine number eight?

The engine use rules are reasonably clear now but I think the engine penalty rules could use some further clarification.

Categories: News Tags:
Comments are closed.