Honda expects gain from keeping same engine concept for 2019

Red Bull's switch to Honda engines will be boosted by the manufacturer sticking with a design concept for a third season for the first time within the V6 turbo-hybrid era

Honda expects gain from keeping same engine concept for 2019

Honda rejoined the F1 grid in 2015 with McLaren and made solid progress in 2016, but overhauled its package for 2017 and suffered a major reliability setback.

That prompted McLaren to split with Honda and leave it to rebuild its reputation in 2018 with Red Bull's junior outfit Toro Rosso and convince the senior team to make the switch from Renault.

Honda's 2019 engine will be a further evolution of the design it introduced back in 2017, as it believes it still has untapped potential as well as guaranteeing better reliability than another overhaul.

"We can carry over the current design, or concept, of power unit," Honda F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe told Autosport.

"We don't know exactly [what the limit is] because we haven't achieved a high level but we started with another concept and changed it for 2017.

"We learned something earlier, then changed it. In 2018, we carried over this concept and improved reliability and performance.

"We think this concept change is not wrong. It's suitable."

Convincing Red Bull to switch to Honda was a major result for the Japanese manufacturer after just one year with Toro Rosso.

Recent reports suggested Honda had discovered a new vibration problem when testing its 2019 engine, but it is understood that the manufacturer has not experienced a major setback.

It is believed to be hoping to make more progress with the development before testing begins, while Red Bull has already stressed that reliability is not expected to be perfect at the start of the partnership.

However, as previously reported by Autosport, the close relationship of the two Red Bull-owned teams will give Honda a technical boost as it prepares to supply two teams again.

Honda says it also helps validate the decision to keep the same engine idea.

"When you change the concept of the design a lot, it's very hard to get reliability," said Tanabe.

"It depends on the design level but I'm comfortable with carrying over our current concept. We have a new team, a new design of the car.

"It is a little bit easier to carry over that concept, because the detail is in the installation of the car.

"Toro Rosso and Red Bull has communication and that's easier for the Red Bull side because Toro Rosso knows our power unit.

"They can communicate a problem or a kind of concern from the chassis point of view, and they can come back to us.

"If we have a completely new, or much updated design, it's much more work required."

Honda had discussions with Austrian company AVL about a possible collaboration but decided not to take this any further.

It is thought that this would have related to a longer-term project rather than anything for the 2019 engine.

shares
comments
F1 using 'world's first overtaking sim' to help design circuits

Previous article

F1 using 'world's first overtaking sim' to help design circuits

Next article

Ricciardo will give Renault F1 team 'another dimension' - Prost

Ricciardo will give Renault F1 team 'another dimension' - Prost
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Honda Racing F1 Team
Author Scott Mitchell
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Formula 1
May 7, 2021