The way is being paved for Honda and Renault to make strides in improving their power units after all four manufacturers agreed to in-season development for 2016.

Following the introduction of the new generation V6 Hybrid power units in 2014, it was originally agreed that they would be homologated in February, with no development permitted in-season, in an effort to control spiralling costs.

However, the sheer dominance of Mercedes in 2014 led to a loosening of the regulations for 2015, with 'tokens' being introduced, which could be spent in areas of engine development. The maximum number of tokens available was then set to decrease in the seasons leading to 2020.

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For 2016, however, it has been agreed between manufacturers and the FIA to once again offer 32 development tokens, which can permit companies to apply them throughout the season.

The move to open up development has been keenly pursued by Ferrari, Renault and Honda. Having made a notable stride between 2014 and 2015, Ferrari is keen to use this as an opportunity to make a similar step forward in its fight against Mercedes, while Renault and Honda particularly sought it to give it a fighting chance of making up ground having struggled for pace and reliability this year.

Though Mercedes has formerly been reluctant to allow more development, it agrees the current gulf in performance between the four engines is not in the best interests of the sport, prompting it to relent.

By allowing in-season development, manufacturers will now be able to introduce updates more fluidly, with less of an emphasis to bring the biggest gains - and potentially riskier gains in terms of reliability - in the run up to the season, with the move considered a particular nod towards allowing Renault and Honda the flexibility it needs to improve its maligned power units.

The proposed changes will still require them to be passed by the F1 Commission and the World Motor Sport Council in order to be formally introduced.