FIA analysis shows Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault within 0.3s

The FIA is convinced that the performance of the top three engines in Formula 1 has now converged to be within three tenths of a second.

FIA analysis shows Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault within 0.3s
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Charlie Whiting, FIA Race Director
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H
Charlie Whiting, FIA Delegate
Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H

Following detailed analysis of the performance of the four different power units after the first three races of the season, motor racing’s governing body says its estimates point to Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault being as close as the rules demand.

Speaking ahead of the Russian Grand Prix, F1 race director Charlie Whiting said that teams had been informed of the news at this week’s Strategy Group meeting.

“Part of an agreement [between manufacturers] last year was a power unit convergence element,” he said. “It was a system that everyone would assess after the first three races on whether we had power unit convergence.

“This was defined as three out of four power unit manufacturers being within three tenths of a second of each other around Barcelona.

“It is far more complicated than that, because there was a very detail methodology for simulating this based on all the data that only we have.

“So we took all the data that we can from the first three races, from all the power units. We have got some simulation engineers in Geneva and [FIA engine head] Fabrice Lom.

"They sat down and they analysed all this data and, using the method that was agreed by all the power unit manufacturers to derive from these simulations, what it meant in terms of lap time around Barcelona.

“This was done. We announced the results of this to the Strategy Group the other day and we have convergence.”

Renault query

Although it is understood the FIA’s call on convergence has not pleased Red Bull, with the team at the meeting querying Renault being within the three-tenths window, Whiting says that the governing body was following procedures that were agreed with the manufacturers.

“It is something that they all signed up to and agreed with the methodology – and that is the most important thing,” he said.

“The four engine manufacturers sat down for hours and hours and thrashed out this rather complex method.

“Obviously this was done among the powerunit manufacturers not the teams, but I think there may be a little element of surprise about this. But we do have convergence as defined by this system.

“We cannot renegotiate it. It is something that has been in place for a year or so now. They have all known how it was going to be done and that is how it has been done. And those are the results.”

The agreement to only cover the top three manufacturers means there is no scope for any freeing up of the rules to help Honda out – with the Japanese manufacturer behind the others.

Asked about that situation, Whiting said: “It wasn’t a matter of helping anybody. It was a matter of establishing the measures that had been introduced, losing the tokens and all those sorts of things that were aimed at helping convergence, had worked.”

Whiting said that the FIA will continue to monitor the performance of the engines over the remainder of the campaign to ensure that they stay within the 0.3 seconds window.

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