Adrian Newey has criticised the decision to discard with the 'token' format of engine development, saying it leaves F1 open to a potential spending beyond its already 'eye-watering' budgets.
F1 introduced an 'engine freeze' with the change of the regulations in 2014, but 'thawed' on allowing some development to take place for 2015 with the introduction on a weighted 'token system', partly to keep a rein on spending.
This is set to be dropped in return for manufacturers agreeing on offering engines at a lower price, but Red Bull chief engineer Newey is sceptical that it will have the desired effect of keeping a lid on spending, adding that he doesn't believe Renault could pledge as much money as Mercedes if it a 'spending frenzy' occurs.
“More spending [will occur], simple as that,” he told Reuters
. “If you look back on the original technical working group meetings and minutes from 2012-13, the agreement at that point was that the engines would be frozen but teams that were behind would still be allowed to keep developing. That's not happened.
"So it becomes a spending frenzy...the numbers being spent by the big manufacturers are eye-watering and so I think potentially for companies such as Renault who aren't prepared to spend that sort of money, it means actually the gaps get bigger not smaller."
Furthermore, Newey doesn't believe the change in regulation that now stipulates customer teams must receive the same specification engine as the factory team will be effective as a significant element of performance lies in the software that doesn't need to be shared.
"It's very curious to me that we have this set of regulations where the manufacturer has to supply the same hardware to other teams but it's no under no obligation to supply the same software and therefore the same performance," said Newey.
"Nobody is complaining about this because the customer teams can't complain because their contract doesn't allow them to."