F1 Good Week/Bad Week

In F1, good news for one team is often bad news for another – as is the case with the sudden unfreezing of the engine rules…

Good Week
It’s been a good week for the Ferrari and Renault teams. The FIA have announced that they are to let teams homologate their engines whenever they like in 2015. This means that they can make technical updates on the 32-token system throughout the year (simply put, they have divided engines into 32 tokens, with some of the major areas of development counting for more tokens than others). So now engines are unfrozen.
Bad Week
This means that Mercedes will lose their frozen-in technical advantage which can now be whittled away through the season, with the engine manufacturers able to test out new developments race by race.
Good Week
The announcement from the FIA is a personal victory for Ferrari’s technical chief James Allison, who spotted the loophole in the engine regulations. What the unfreezing will also do is accelerate the progress in hybrid systems, meaning that new technology will be developed for road cars at an even faster pace.
Bad Week
It’s bad news for F1’s accountants. The technical race between the engine manufacturers to improve their systems will ramp up the costs.
Good Week
More good news for Susie Wolff Williams’ test driver will be taking part in two Friday practice sessions this year and is now going to try out the new FW37 in Barcelona during the Feb 19-22nd test.
Bad Week
With the same clarification of the engine rules that gave development room for Renault and Ferrari, came the decision that Honda would have to seal their engine at the end of February and not improve it through 2015. The logic given was that this is what Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault had to do in their first year of hybrid systems in 2014. Honda and McLaren are appealing.
Good Week
Critics of the ease in which inexperienced teenagers can parachute into F1 will have been gladdened to learn about the FIA’s new F1 superlicence system. It’s a massive shake-up. In future drivers will have to earn 40 points before they are allowed in. Only five championships can deliver those 40 points for title success in just one season – IndyCar, the WEC, F3 European Championship, GP2 and a future Formula 2 championship. Max Verstappen would have scored just 20 points in 2014 and wouldn’t be in F1 this year. There is also a minimum age limit of 18 which the Dutch teenager would not have passed.
Bad Week
It’s been a bad week for Marussia fans who have seen the true depth of the team’s economic woes revealed by the auditor. A list of trade creditors was published which showed that the team owed ??31.4 million – including ??600,000 to Timo Glock, ??16.6 million to Ferrari, ??7 million to McLaren and ??1 million to Pirelli.
Good Week
Or at least, it’s a hopeful week. The family of Jules Bianchi say that he is now beginning rehabilitation therapy in France, though he is still unconscious.
Bad Week
It’s a bad week for those few Korean F1 fans who thought they might have a race in 2015. It was a surprise inclusion in the December calendar, but Bernie has emphasised that it was only in there for “legal reasons”. “If we hadn’t have done it, they could have sued us. We let them off for a year on the understanding they would be back.” Not many people are surprised at its sudden demise.

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