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GP Week : Issue 219
F1 >>> news Having quietly dropped off the radar since being first raised in Malaysia, relaxation to the power unit quota regulations have again become a hot topic within the paddock. With both Honda and Renault struggling with reliability, and teams sitting out large portions of practice sessions in an attempt to save mileage on their motors, Red Bull's Christian Horner suggested drivers be given an extra engine to help improve the show. However, since Horner raised the suggestion at a team principals meeting last month nothing had been heard of the notion, leading many to believe it had been quietly dropped. But, according to Toto Wolff, that's not the case. "We've submitted the proposal to the FIA," explained the Mercedes boss. "The proposal is with the FIA and I guess it's going to be discussed the next time around in a strategy meeting." Though it's believed the suggestion received unanimous support in Malaysia there remains some resistence as those not struggling with reliability prove reluctant to hand an advantage to those who are. "Some engine manufacturers do the job better, others don't and it's just different every season," Sauber's Monisha Kaltenborn pointed out. "We suffered that much last year, also with the engine we had." The discussion will surround how, or even if, a fifth engine could be introduced. There are suggestsions it could be used as a standalone engine for use exclusively in Friday practice, or added to the teams current quota. The latter suggestion raises questions for those already on the cusp of engine penalties, especially if they take a fifth engine now only for the regulations to change later in the season. "For the time being, we know what the sporting regulations say, that it's four engines," commented Renault's Rob White. "It's obvious that we're over-using engines and to some extent then the way to deal with that is one step at a time, one race at a time and the penalty regime is what it is. "If the regulations change along the way, then we will adapt our planning to take account of that. It will be the same for everybody the day that it happens if it happens." Manor's John Booth, a team which is using last years rather lethargic Ferrari engine, had the final say: "We're perfectly happy with the four engine rule but sometimes rules have to be changed for the good of the sport and this may be one of those." fifth engines still up for discussion 12 GPWEEK.com // 12 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: