Mercedes and Ferrari face being held back from developing their Formula 1 engines anymore so Renault and Honda could catch up, if a radical plan by Bernie Ecclestone gets approval.
Amid growing concerns that the performance gap between the two leading manufacturers and their rivals is not healthy for the sport, sources suggest that Ecclestone has proposed the idea of a freeze for the top car makers.
The matter was discussed in this week's F1 Strategy Group meeting at Biggin Hill.
It is suggested that one way to impose it would be to put a limit on horsepower, so when a manufacturers hits a certain performance figure they will no longer be allowed to develop their power unit any more.
Motorsport.com understands that neither Ferrari nor Mercedes are in favour of the idea, which both teams feel goes against the high-technology ethos of the sport.
In-season development talks
Although the current rules state that all manufacturers must homologate their 2016 power units by February 28 next year, there have been calls for the regulations to be relaxed.
In particular, Renault and Honda are both in favour of a return of the kind of development token system that was put in place this year.
A deal to achieve that would require the support of all teams, and Motorsport.com understands that the pace-setting Mercedes team is open to a compromise to allow it to happen, despite the extra cost of in-season development.
Discussions are also ongoing about placing a limit on the price that a manufacturer can demand for a power unit.