“We will have to present a project to the FIA with all the changes that we want to do, and they will have to approve them. It is obvious that we will not be able to change the concept of the engine, but we will be able to modify some internal components”, said Briatore in an interview for Spanish newspaper El Pais.
This comes as a confirmation of early-June rumors concerning FIA's decision to allow certain teams to update their engines despite the engine-freeze regulations. The reason is that manufacturers like Ferrari, McLaren and BMW had already prepared themselves for the 'freeze' benefiting from higher outputs than the rest of the teams in the paddock.
These three teams are reportedly benefiting from more powerful 2.4L V8 engines with up to 30 hp as compared to the competition. What FIA is now trying to implement for the 2009 season is an equalization of engine's performances, limiting it via the standard ECU.
The good news couldn't have had a better timing for Renault, as Briatore's efforts to creating a team capable of clinching another world title received a boost in both Singapore and Japan. With the more powerful powerplant to start with in 2009, things are really looking good for the French manufacturer. “This year we are the team that has improved its car the most. With the improvement of our engine, in 2009 we will have a great single seater”, concluded the Italian.
Renault will not be the sole beneficiary of the new rule however – yet to be confirmed by FIA – since Honda and Toyota are also expected to be given the go-ahead for their engine development programme.
“For some, like McLaren, Ferrari and BMW it is probably not necessary. But yes, I can confirm that we will be able to do it”, confirmed Honda's CEO Nick Fry.