May 10 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Mercedes has changed its position yet again over the ‘fifth engine’ issue.
Concerned that too many drivers will easily run through their allocation of four engines and start serving multiple grid penalties, talks about adding another ‘power unit’ took place recently.
“There was a certain degree of unanimous agreement amongst the teams in Malaysia,” said McLaren-Honda’s Jonathan Neale. “I think that position has changed a bit from what I can pick up in paddock rumour at the moment.”
Indeed, Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda headed into the Spanish grand prix weekend reportedly declaring: “There will be no fifth engine.
“You cannot change the regulations in the middle of a season,” the F1 legend insisted.
It is not clear which way Ferrari will vote at next week’s crucial Strategy Group meeting, but Mercedes appears now to have changed its position again.
A mid-season rule change requires unanimity up and down pitlane.
“We have called for the fifth engine,” team boss Toto Wolff told Kleine Zeitung newspaper in Barcelona, “subject to the condition that more running is done on Fridays.
“For us, it is not ideal and we would make do with four engines, but it is important that we support the fans,” he added.
So ahead of Thursday’s meeting at Biggin Hill, Wolff added: “The debate will take place but I’m not sure if all the teams want another engine because of the cost.”