Ferrari, Renault and McLaren’s power unit supplier Honda are all eager for the rules to be relaxed for next year to at least allow them the opportunity to make gains on all-conquering Mercedes.
At present, after the FIA closed a loophole in the wording of the regulation, no in-season development of the power unit is allowed beyond February 28 2016. For the FIA to open up the rule, Mercedes will have to join forces with its three rivals to make a case to technical delegate Charlie Whiting.
Boullier believes early signs are positive after discussing the matter with Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff and non-executive chairman Niki Lauda.
“It’s all about negotiating,” added Boullier. “They are willing to listen, to be honest. They are already, and having talked to Toto and Niki they are concerned about Formula 1 itself. I’m sure there is some room for change. You just need to look at the whole picture.”
With Honda needing as much assistance as it can get, Boullier added: “We’ve always been open to development. Definitely. The position is clear. We want to have as much room as possible because F1 has become an engine formula, and it’s too much now. Looking at the situation, with the chassis you can develop that when you want; engine, you are locked into a situation and now engine manufacturers cannot recover or compete fairly, let’s say.”
“Of course, the regulation is the same for everybody, and everybody knew the regulation beforehand, but there needs to be a degree of flexibility for that. It needs to be changed. We cornered ourselves in Formula 1 with this regulation, but now we need to be clever to rethink how to change it.”