Honda has an advantage in being able to concentrate exclusively on 2015, Mercedes F1 engine boss Andy Cowell has claimed this week.
This year, the German marque is fighting for title spoils against only Renault and Ferrari, but Japanese carmaker Honda is returning to the fray in 2015 as McLaren's works partner.
"There are pros and cons (for Honda)," said Cowell.
He is referring to the fact that Honda is missing from the grid in 2014, the very first season of the all-new turbo V6 era.
"Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes have the experience of winter testing and the grands prix this year," Cowell told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.
"We know based on facts what the issues are and how to solve them. Honda can only watch," he said.
"On the other hand, we face a challenge in that we are continuing to develop the current engine in the context of what is allowed, and simultaneously we need to prepare for the 2015 homologation next February," Cowell explained.
"So Honda has the advantage of being able to learn through photos and analysing the performance of the engines whilst concentrating fully on 2015," he said.
"They are gaining knowledge free of charge, but not in the depth of the three (existing) manufacturers," added Cowell.
Vettel expects engine penalties later in 2014
Sebastian Vettel has admitted his 2014 troubles are far from over.
The world champion said that even if his run of poor reliability ends soon, Renault's early-season crisis will come home to roost later in 2014.
That is because of the tighter-than-ever longlife engine rules, where drivers may only use five individual V6 engines, turbos, electric motors, batteries and control units in a single season without penalty.
The German and his Red Bull will begin tumbling down the grid once that allocation is exhausted.
Based on his list of component changes so far, Vettel told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport: "It is easy to calculate that I will not have enough" for the entire 19-race calendar.
People struck when Rosberg 'slammed on brakes'
An eyewitness has pointed the finger at Nico Rosberg in the wake of an accident last week that caused injuries.
During a promotional event for Germany's world cup football team, Rosberg and DTM driver Pascal Wehrlein were driving road cars in Tyrol, Italy, when two bystanders were struck and injured.
A statement issued by Mercedes said Wehrlein struck "two people whom he unexpectedly encountered walking on the closed course".
But an eyewitness has given a different account of the crash.
"I saw exactly what happened," the eyewitness is quoted by TZ.
"The two cars were about three or four feet apart at about 80kph.
"All of a sudden Nico Rosberg just slammed on the brakes. Pascal Wehrlein was surprised. He (Rosberg) obviously did not know which way the course went.
"Wehrlein swerved to the left off the course and then he hit them."
All-new fuel flow sensor to debut in 2014 - report
F1 looks set to abolish the troublesome Gill fuel flow sensor.
Earlier this season, the sensor was at the centre of Daniel Ricciardo's disputed Melbourne disqualification, with Red Bull arguing it was unreliable and inaccurate.
Now, the specialist magazine Racecar Engineering reports in its latest issue that an alternative sensor "is in the final stages of development", and could even make its debut later in 2014.
The new sensor is reportedly being developed by a company called Sentronics, with the involvement of Hyspeed, who initially worked with Gill on the current F1 sensor.
The Gill-Hyspeed collaboration, however, ended last year, leaving Hyspeed to start work on the new solution.
"We remain convinced that the ultrasonic time-of-flight principle is the best way of measuring fuel flow on board a race car," said managing director Neville Meech, who formerly worked for Gill.
He said the Sentronics sensor, called the 'Flowsonic', is a "compact and robust unit with the minimum of materials and parts, and hence less to go wrong".
It also weighs just 250 grams, half the maximum permitted by the FIA, Racecar Engineering added.
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