As Motorsport.com revealed last week, the FIA tabled discussions at this weekend’s F1 Commission meeting to evaluate whether action needed to be taken in balancing the performance of engines to help out Alpine supplier Renault.
It is understood that the Renault engine could be as much as 30 horsepower down on the best of the opposition, with no prospect of closing the gap because of F1’s engine freeze.
The issue has now been referred to the Power Unit Advisory Committee of F1 for assessment and resolution of a significant gap, according to their statement.
The last time the F1 engine equalisation topic came up, the FIA suggested that the best way to deal with it was to peg back the performance of the top power units to make them equal, rather than help out anyone who had fallen behind.
However, as the assessment commences, Wolff has emphasized that any measures affecting the overall performance would severely undermine the fairness of F1’s merit-based system.
Pierre Gasly, Alpine A523, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
Wolff explained that entertainment comes after sport, and the reason why sport is highly regarded is due to the necessity of putting in a lot of effort to achieve success.
“If you are experiencing a decline in your role as an engine supplier and your engine is not performing as well as others, it becomes a collective concern. However, we also do not want to miss out on providing opportunities to others while using a fixed engine.”
However, it is crucial to accomplish this in a fair and equal manner. To ensure this, the 2026 power unit regulations include a provision stating that if a power unit falls 3% below the leading power unit, the teams will convene and engage in a constructive discussion to explore potential solutions.
“And once we establish a shared comprehension of the deficiency in performance, we must address the potential allocation of additional dyno hours and development resources. This is a matter open for discussion and deliberation.”
“I cannot reword”
Alpine is open that it is behind rivals in the power stakes, and the equalisation push is important because of the limitations imposed by the cost cap.
Alpine’s interim team principal Bruno Famin said at Spa: “The engine is a bit behind for sure. It is a fact that the engine is in a frozen period, and we cannot develop performance.”