Ferrari has derailed Red Bull’s latest attempt to abandon Formula 1’s switch to three engines per year in 2018, despite growing unease about the implications of the rule change.
With F1 already under fire for the wave of grid penalties that have marred the end of the campaign – which Ross Brawn recently said were making a ‘farce’ of F1 – there are concerns that the situation could get even worse next season with teams having to get through the campaign with one fewer power unit.
Sources have revealed that Red Bull boss Christian Horner brought up the matter at the Strategy Group meeting before the Brazilian Grand Prix – in the hope of garnering unanimous support to keep F1 at the current four engines per season limit.
But it is understood that Ferrari made clear it would not back such a move on the grounds that it had already devoted time and resources to ensuring its engines were reliable enough to last the extra mileage.
With Ferrari’s stance clear, the discussion about the rule change ended swiftly – as it would need every team to back the change for it to move forward.
Speaking at the Italian Grand Prix in September, Horner said he had hoped other teams would see sense.
"I tried to get it changed at an earlier meeting in the year, but there was no support for it,” he said.
“I would hope that there would now be a different outcome, with teams staring down the barrel of further penalties between now and the end of the year."
World champion Lewis Hamilton added to the criticisms of the three-engine rule in Brazil last weekend because of fears that drivers would be constantly having to manage mileage in 2018.
“I don't like the idea of going to three engines, I think that sucks,” he said. “We should be able to push more. Sprinting is what we're missing in F1."