Honda already working on major F1 engine changes for later in 2017

Honda is working on a significantly updated Formula 1 engine designed to raise power levels, having finally appeared to make reliability progress as the 2017 season began in Australia

Honda already working on major F1 engine changes for later in 2017

Fernando Alonso ended up 12th overall in second Melbourne practice, with McLaren able to get some decent running at last - Alonso and team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne covering 84 laps between them.

But with a horsepower deficit still apparent, Honda has revealed work is already under way on a revised engine.

The upgraded version will retain the split turbine and compressor concept adopted for 2017, but will feature hardware changes.

Honda hopes the engine can be ready before June, so could be introduced around the Monaco Grand Prix when teams are likely to switch to the second of the four power units they have available for the season.

Honda F1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa said speed trap figures that put Honda around 9km/h down on benchmark Mercedes indicated power was an issue.

"The power difference is big," he admitted.

"To raise the power it is necessary to raise the combustion efficiency, but to do that you have to change the hardware of the current power unit.

"So I am developing an improved power unit, but it will take some time to complete.

"I would like to have it finished and in the car within two months."

Although Honda suffered no major reliability problems on Friday, the vibration issues that dogged the final days of testing have not been cured completely.

It is understood the drivers have been asked to change gear in a different rev range to minimise oscillations, which is costing some lap time.

"The vibration was not that much of a problem today," Hasegawa added.

"However there was a little bit at the time of the upshift, so if we solve that then we may earn a little more lap time."

McLaren executive director Zak Brown took some encouragement from the progress Honda had made but acknowledged getting more power was essential.

"Today was alright," he said. "The reliability was good, but the speed was not where we want to be but it was better.

"I think some others had some issues, so I don't know if today is representative of where we will be tomorrow in qualifying.

"I hope so because 12th would be a little bit better than anticipated.

"But it was only free practice and day one. You don't know who turned it up and who was on what fuel load. But today was a good day."

Asked about the vibrations, he replied: "They have been improved. But I think it is too early to say that things have been solved, because we haven't done a GP distance.

"But it was good that we got some good laps, more laps, than we had done in any one day.

"The drivers liked the car. Fernando and Stoffel said the car feels very good, looks good - now we just need to get further up the grid."

shares
comments
Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes gains since F1 tests 'like night and day'
Previous article

Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes gains since F1 tests 'like night and day'

Next article

Haas F1 team ordered to remove its T-wing in Australian GP practice

Haas F1 team ordered to remove its T-wing in Australian GP practice
Load comments
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay Plus

Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax Plus

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021