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Geneva paves way for 2016 engine development

F1 engine manufacturers and the FIA took some time out from the 2015 Formula 1 schedule to find a way of levelling the playing field for the sport in 2016. Since Mercedes produced their engineering masterpiece in the form of their hybrid V6 engine, no other team has been able to match their pace nor provide any real challenge for the world championship.

As a result, Mercedes has dominated both constructors' and drivers' championships for two consecutive years. Now all could be set to change as areas that were to be frozen for development such as the crankcase, valve drive, part of the crankshaft, air-valve system and ancillaries drive, will be open for improvement. In addition, the number of in season development 'tokens' will remain at 32 for the 2016 season, rather than the planned reduction to 25.

This is great news not only for Ferrari, who have been catching Mercedes in terms of outright pace, but also for the teams struggling to keep up, such as Renault and Honda. Mercedes will have to start looking over their shoulder pretty soon, but for now, they can enjoy being crowned constructors' champions for the 2015 Formula 1 season, with Lewis Hamilton on the brink of a second consecutive drivers' championship in Austin, Texas

Mercedes' Toto Wolff supports 3 car teams

With the future of Red Bull Racing, Torro Rosso and possibly Lotus still uncertain, the possibility of 3-car teams is becoming a possibility for the 2016 Formula 1 season. There is an agreement in place that should the number of cars on the grid drop to 18 or less for next season, Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren would be allowed to race a third car each to make up the numbers.

While nobody wants to see the exit of Red Bull and Torro Rosso, only 4 months remain until winter testing, so teams wishing to field a third car will need to start finalising budgets and personnel if the drinks manufacturer can't find an engine supplier for 2016.

In any case, Mercedes' F1 boss, Toto Wolff is in favour of 3-car teams because it will open up the market to many talented drivers who are struggling to find a seat in Formula 1. Other benefits include increased media exposure and advertising revenue. When asked about the financial viability and timescales for a third car, Wolff was confident that Mercedes had enough resources and time to field a third car for the 2016 Formula 1 season.

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