Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting revealed to media on day one of the Russian Grand Prix weekend that tests down by the FIA show that the power units of Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault engines are three tenths apart.
Last year the sport’s four engine manufacturers agreed to a performance study to compare the the power units of Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda.
The agreement stated that, by the third race of 2017, three of the four suppliers would be within 0.3 of a second of each other around one lap of Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.
Whiting told reporters,”There was a very detailed methodology for simulating this based on all the data that only we have. So we take all the data that we can from the first three races – all the power units – and we’ve got some simulation engineers in Geneva, who along with Fabrice Lom sat down and 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 and we announced the results of this to the Strategy Group the other day, and we have convergence. Convergence is defined by the top three being within 0.3 of a second around Barcelona. This only applies to the power unit, of course. So the top three power units are within 0.3 of a second.”
“[The manufacturers] all agreed to it. The power unit manufacturers agreed to this methodology, so we can’t renegotiate it. It’s something that’s been in place for a year or so now, a bit more than a year. They’ve all known exactly how it was going to be done and that’s how it’s been done, and those are the results.”
“It wasn’t a matter of helping anybody, it was a matter of establishing whether the measures that have been introduced – losing the tokens and all of those sorts of things that were to help convergence – whether it had worked. Part of the obligation to supply but it was not totally connected with obligation to supply but it was part of the whole agreement.
“One of the reasons for making all those changes – the main thing being losing the tokens – there were a number of other measures that were put in place to try and assist, and it seems to have worked,” added Whiting.