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Honda Discovered Problems last Christmas

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Bethonie Waring, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. Bethonie Waring

    Bethonie Waring
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    honda problems.jpg
    Honda engineers were left scratching their heads last Christmas, when an engine specifications that worked on a mono-cylinder brought problems when transferred to the V6 engine. Having found the problem so late, the manufacturer was forced to compromise, leading to a disastrous preseason for McLaren.


    In theory, with the team having known at the very least that these problems were possible, there should be a solution relatively soon, but that’s not for certain.

    “We did some good progress in the mono-cylinder on the dyno, but as soon as we complete the V6 engine we had many issues,” said Honda F1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa.

    “What we achieved in mono-cylinder is at a very good level, but when we transfer the exact same specification to the V6 engine, it doesn’t work. We are very disappointed. But it was too late that we noticed that – at Christmas.

    “After we understood the issues, it was the time we needed to confirm the final specification – we needed to have some compromise.”

    In preseason testing, Honda found that there was a big problem with vibrations, something that hadn’t been an issue on the dyno.

    “When we have a gearbox, driveshaft, and tyre it has some resonance,” Hasegawa said. “I’m not blaming the chassis. We have to realise the situation on the dyno as well.”

    It’s a bit of a disaster for Honda. Hasegawa had said the engine was close to 2016 Mercedes levels which, whilst not great, would have been an improvement. Maybe what the team achieved on the mono-cylinder really was at that level, but every step they took closer to the engine that would actually be in the car revealed more and more problems, and they’ve yet to find solutions.

    Rather than going forwards, the manufacturer has gone backwards, prompting speculation that McLaren will jump ship and return to Mercedes in the near future. But how is it possible to have been so wrong?

    It all comes down to that “radical new design” Honda had been talking about before testing. Since the token system was scrapped, the manufacturer has been trying to replicate the technology its competitors use. The difficulty of this engineers underestimated.

    “As a matter of fact, we were thinking [it was] too easy,” said Hasagawa. “And it was too difficult to achieve the new technology – that was my mistake.”

    Honda have started working on solutions, and McLaren will be glad to hear they already have “good levels of performance with the mono-cylinder engine”! Hasagawa also said he has some confidence that they will be able to transfer the technology to the V6 successfully.

    The plan is to introduce updates by round five (Spain) or six (Monaco).

    For more Formula One news and discussions head over to the RaceDepartment Formula One sub forum and join in with your fellow community members.


    Do you expect there to be a big difference when the engine update comes in? Should McLaren just cut their losses and go to Mercedes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
     
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  2. ThatRacingGuy

    ThatRacingGuy
    I drove 88 MPH last night... weird stuff happened

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    Mercedes! but i highly doubt Merc will give them an engine, since the chassis of the Mclaren is up there
     
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  3. Alex Townsend

    Alex Townsend
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    Hmmm, the fact they knew about it at Christmas is a bit of an issue if no-one at McLaren did. Otherwise they would have all been prepared but it seems they weren't.
    Should they cut their losses?
    They are pretty much near the bottom and a new engine deal with Mercedes is not going to be cheap...
    I'd say they're better off sticking with Honda this year with a get out clause on the contract if they cannot resolve the problems and become competitive by mid way through this year.
    Otherwise, if Honda solve the issues, could we see a Sauber Honda winning races in the not-so-distant future?
     
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  4. dave kirk

    dave kirk
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    They need to stick with Honda anyway as Honda are paying a big chunk of their budget, I don't think the MacLaren chassis is particularly great either so getting a B spec Merc engine won't suddenly make them race winners again.
     
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  5. kondor999

    kondor999

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    This story sounds like something you would've heard from a tiny self-funded engine startup like Hart or Judd back in 1989.

    That fact the Honda (Honda!) is displaying this level of amateurish incompetence is frankly startling.

    I think they must have let go most of their F1 engine people after they sold the team to Brawn GP. At this point, they should just re-badge a British-made PU like Mercedes has done for years, and admit they no longer have this type of expertise on-hand.
     
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  6. Blackmarch7

    Blackmarch7

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    Ahahaha, Santa Claus had brought a big present!
    Merry christmas Honda! (but sorry I'm late!)
     
  7. Ghoults

    Ghoults

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    The honda engine which the brawn used was not that good either. It was down on power and drivability iirc. And when brawn won the championship they used mercedes engines. Not honda engines. Also if you look at f1 for the past 20 years the mercedes engine has been consistantly the best one or one of the best ones. At some point the bmw might have made more power or the renault was more fuel efficient but the mercedes has been the engine to have for a very long time. In the meanwhile honda hasn't really created anything extraordinary in the same timeframe.

    I can't really blame ron and mclaren for going with honda though. With the new hybrid engines the only way to fight for championships is to either be an engine manufacturer or have engine manufacturer creating engines just for you. Mclaren would never be able to challenge mercedes factory team with mercedes engine because mercedes would never sell/send equal engines to anyone who could beat them on track with them.

    Then when you add the huge cost of the engines you are really looking at bad odds. At least now mclaren doesn't need to pay all of this. Honda is paying a lot of money too. But my point is jumping ships to mercedes engines is not a magic bullet. At best the mercedes would sell something like year old engines at full price for mclaren. Your chassis needs to be magical if you want to beat the possibly best chassis of mercedes with worse engine! (although this year ferrari might have the best chassis).

    Another thing is the money. The amount of money honda is pouring into mclaren would simply be taken out of mclaren's own pockets. And we are talking high 8 figure sums, possibly even low 9 figures (100,000,000$+).
     
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  8. rubaru

    rubaru

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    If this Sauber-Honda deal goes through, we could see a Honda that can actually fund itself fully and devote more resources to engine development. I actually hope McLaren toughs it out with Honda, Sauber comes on board, and maybe see 1.5x or 2x the development speed of these last 2-3 seasons. Could get exciting, if people weren't in such a hurry for results.
     
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  9. Bram Hengeveld

    Bram Hengeveld
    Administrator Staff Premium

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    Identifying the problem is the first step to a solution. I sincerely hope Honda can improve rapidly as it's becoming rather embarrassing for them and McLaren.
     
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  10. Andrew

    Andrew
    I'm not lazy, I'm just very relaxed. Staff Premium

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    A user on our FB-Page has posted this:

    Quote:
    Last christmas .. I gave you my engine but the very next day it already breaks~
    /Quote

    I luv it . :) :)
     
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  11. kondor999

    kondor999

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    Brawn GP never used Honda power units. You must be referring to the 2008 Honda RA108.

    Are you even aware that these lovely "Mercedes" power units started out as re-badged Ilmor V10's and have always been designed and built in Brixworth, England? The only thing that comes from Mercedes is cash and the names for the valve covers. Mercedes has never built their own F1 engine.

    They are built by Ilmor, now re-badged as Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains. If Mercedes AMG itself had to build an F1 engine today, they'd have zero in-house expertise.

    This is very different from BMW, Renault and Honda, whose engines have always been designed completely in-house (albeit within specialized divisions of the parent company). But at least their engineering expertise is what's on display - Not their willingness to just go buy an engine from someone and re-badge it as their own.

    In 2008, Honda F1 had precisely one engine failure all year. McLaren Mercedes also had a single engine failure. The problem wasn't the Honda RA808E engine - it was the lousy RA108 aero that had been designed with electronic driver aids in mind. That's why Button criticized its "drivability". It had little to do with the engine itself.
     
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  12. Boby Kim

    Boby Kim

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    WHAM.....Last Christmas i gave you my engine but the very next day you broke it...
     
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  13. Sean

    Sean
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    Ferrari make beautiful engines in-house too you know ;)
     
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  14. Christian Moreau

    Christian Moreau
    The real Canadian Prime Minister Premium

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    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Matt Edwards-Davies

    Matt Edwards-Davies
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    Didn't Mercedes buy the part of Ilmor that is now known as "Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains"? In that case they are effectively just the high performance engine division of Mercedes...
     
  16. Nick Hill

    Nick Hill
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    I hate to say it, cuz I was really hoping to see this McLaren/Honda pairing pay off, but Honda comes off to me as being overconfident to the point of being cocky.

    First, chased an ambitious design different than everyone else's - oops, fail. Then assume that the fallback plan (copy everyone else) would be easy - oops, fail again.

    Really painful to watch (especially if you are like me and want to see Honda succeed).
     
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  17. Fabian Biehne

    Fabian Biehne
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    The most painful thing to see is a driver like Alonso not getting the car to show what he's still capable of. He's 35 now and there are not many more years to come I guess. Stoffel still has some time in F1.
     
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  18. kondor999

    kondor999

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    Yeah, that was just a random sampling. You could add Lamborghini and a few others, but Ferrari/FIAT is definitely at the top of the list. Not sure why I didn't list them first...
     
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  19. aka2k

    aka2k

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    Unless a miracle happen, McLaren is bound to become a middle to low end team. Probably even worse than were Williams has fallen. So sad for a team that once had Senna and Prost, and won most of the races.
     
  20. Ghoults

    Ghoults

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    So what is your point exactly? Everybody buys things. Sometimes manufacturers buy smaller companies. Some times big companies have smaller race teams run their racing programs (team joest and audi). And when it comes to mercedes their truck division (yay road relevance!) did help them with their f1 hybrid engines. To say they have 0 in-house expertise when it comes building modern f1 powerplants is just plain wrong...

    Even factually you are incorrect. Last time when mercedes was manufacturer in f1 they built their own own engines even though it was a long time ago. And just the same the modern engines are their own creations. It is pretty much semantics if a manufacturer creates something completely indoors or has bought it at one point. They were not even hiding it as the engines were called ilmor mercedes engines... It was a partnership for crying out loud! Only one claiming it was a fake all out mercedes benz alone putting together f1 engines (in 1994 or ...200x?) is you.

    You are already missing a joke here about how mercedes even bought amg at on point. What you are interpreting as buying stuff and badge it as mercedes could equally be argued to be a different corporate structure. In the end mercedes is doing enough to fulfill the rules in f1 about being a contructor and that's all that matter. I don't really even see your point about mercedes engines not really being mercedes. They do fulfill the rules so they are. And it is not like mercedes is not building race engines for various race cars already (dtm, gt3... along with tons of older stuff with indycar, sportscars and so forth).

    Just because a chassis is slow doesn't mean it is difficult to drive. It is not like button himself was the only one who thought the honda engines were not that good. Ross brawn was not a huge fan either.
     
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