Ferrari’s technical director Pat Fry believes the 2014 Formula 1 engine rules could open “a can of worms” if a manufacturer manages to find loopholes in them.
The V8 engine era, which began in 2006, came to an end after the 2013 season, and next year Formula 1 will bring back 1.6-liter V6 turbo engines. The whole 2014 field will be powered by three different engines manufacturers — Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault — and Fry reckons the regulations are open enough for one of the trio to find a loophole that will mean the FIA will need to get involved.
“I think the aero rules are fairly stable,” said Fry. “It is when you get to the power unit rules they are a can of worms. There are certainly opportunities for the FIA to get involved, yes.”
Fry feels it is not just the engines rules that will be open to different interpretations, and he is not ruling out a team finding something like the Brawn squad did at the start of the 2009 season with its double diffuser.
“What was a double diffuser worth at the start? Ten or 15 points [of downforce]? I am sure there are items out there like that, so will be interesting to see who finds them,” he said.
“People keep on trying to restrict the rules. There will be lot of different shapes next year that you haven’t seen before, so it is all done for a reason.”
Mercedes’ outgoing team principal Ross Brawn believes the 2014 rules are actually quite tight, and although he concedes he could be proven wrong, he is not expecting big controversies.
“Loopholes are things that somebody thinks of and nobody else has,” Brawn said. “So there may well be one that somebody has thought of and we haven’t envisaged, and you can never say it won’t happen.
“We cannot see any areas, otherwise possibly we might have exploited them. On exhausts, for instance, it is pretty well tight now to the center of the car.
“It will be hard to see even with the Coanda technology or the concept we have used for the last couple of years that anything can be done there, but we may be proven wrong. I think the regulations are in pretty good shape.”