It looks like Honda’s lobbying to the FIA has paid off. Formula 1’s governing body has reportedly backtracked on an earlier ruling that allowed Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari to upgrade their engines, but not Honda, which is making its return to the series with McLaren this year.

The Japanese engine builder will now be allowed to develop its new power unit, although the amount of allowed development will be defined by the corresponding amount that other three manufacturers undertake.

Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari can change up to 48% of the power unit design and construction homologated for the 2014 season by the end of the 2015 season. This is defined by a number of development ‘tokens’, which are assigned to parts of the engine on the basis of their influence on performance – each development will cost a predetermined number of tokens. Out of total 66 available tokens, Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari can each claim 32 by the end of the 2015 season.

Honda had previously been barred from changing any of its engines after the original homologation date of 28 February, but now they will be allowed to undertake further development, calculated by the average of the number of tokens which remain unused by the other manufacturers by the time of the first race in Australia.

“If the three 2014 manufacturers have eight, seven and five unused tokens respectively at the start of the season, then [Honda] will be allowed to use six during the season (the average rounded down to the nearest whole number),” explained FIA race director Charlie Whiting, according to BBC Sport.

Image via McLaren

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Blaž Štremfelj

Journalist at MotorsportM8