Honda changing F1 engine concept for 2017 a risk, Hasegawa admits

Honda chief Yusuke Hasegawa admits choosing a completely different concept for its 2017 Formula 1 engine is a risk

Honda changing F1 engine concept for 2017 a risk, Hasegawa admits

After a miserable return to F1 with McLaren in 2015, Honda made gains last year but remained at the back of the pack, behind rival manufacturers Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault.

As Honda bids to close that gap further this year, Hasegawa says the Japanese manufacturer is taking a risk with its next generation unit.

"The concept is completely different," he told Autosport.

"It's very high risk, we don't know a lot of things about that new concept.

"We know it will give us a performance advantage but the biggest risk is whether we can realise that potential this year."

McLaren technical director Tim Goss said last month that Honda had completed a redesign of its power unit, aided by the abolishment of the token system.

The unit is set to feature a revised architecture and a new layout in a bid to improve performance and packaging based on lessons learned from the past two seasons.

Hasegawa said the internal combustion engine remains a key focus for Honda but development of other elements are required in tandem to make progress.

"We need to concentrate on the ICE for this year," he said.

"If we improve the engine itself, which means boosting exhaust gas energy, we need to boost the turbine otherwise we cannot perform at the same level in terms of deployment.

"We still have to do some tests and there will be some trial and error.

"I hope we have understood the direction and the elements to focus on.

"But it's not easy to combine the elements to realise the improvements on the ICE completely."

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