Todt: Teams voted for power unit grid penalties

ABU DHABI -- FIA president Jean Todt says Formula One teams will have to live with a limit of three power units per driver next year -- and the resulting penalties -- because they voted for it.

Following a run of grid penalties for drivers who have used more than their allotted number of power unit components in 2017, there has been a growing tide of criticism of 2018's reduction to three power units per driver from four. McLaren's Eric Boullier said the new limit was "not F1 any more", while Red Bull Boss Christian Horner labelled it "barking mad".

The rule is part of a cost-saving package agreed by the teams at the start of last year and Todt said it will remain part of the regulations unless the teams unanimously agree to get rid of it.

"I will say that it had been consensus -- from everybody -- that punishment would be through grid penalty. So that's what it is," he said in Abu Dhabi. "You are talking about three engines for next year. Well, it is something that was decided.

"There were even people thinking 'why don't we have one engine for the whole championship?'.

"It's not something which is new; it has been decided years ago that for 2018. We have had some meetings with all the teams, and the way the regulations are made, the way the governance is made, to decide we want to go back to four engines [for 2018], we need to get unanimous agreement. And we don't have unanimous agreement, so we will have three engines."

Todt is no fan of the penalties, but says there is nothing that can be done at the present juncture to change the 2018 rules unless all ten teams are able to agree on a solution.

"We need to be clear -- I am not so excited when I read that one team has had one hundred grid penalties during the year, and some others have had no grid penalties. "Racing is a combination of things, and the secret of success is to optimise every single thing at every level. If you do so, you achieve."

Todt reiterated the FIA's position that limiting the number of power units available to teams each year was an early move towards making F1 more financially equitable.

"Clearly, Formula One is too expensive," he said. "There's too big a discrepancy between the small teams and the big teams. It was decided for cost reasons to limit the number of engines, and also to make access to engine supply to private teams at a lower cost."