Honda reverts to older Formula 1 engine spec for Russian GP

Honda has reverted to its previous specification of Formula 1 engine despite a positive response to the upgrade in Russian Grand Prix practice

Honda reverts to older Formula 1 engine spec for Russian GP

The Japanese manufacturer introduced the update at the Sochi event to prepare the new engine ahead of Honda's home grand prix next week.

It was lauded by Toro Rosso after Friday practice but Honda has opted to go back to the old spec.

This is because Honda believes there is more calibration work to do and the engine can be better matched to the chassis.

It says it is not for reliability reasons.

"Having studied all available powerunit data after FP2, we realised that, although the performance was encouraging, there is still some work to do in some areas such as calibration and matching the powerunit to the chassis," said Honda's trackside technical director Toyoharu Tanabe.

"So we have decided to revert to the older specification powerunit on both cars for the rest of the weekend.

"We believe we can complete the work before the Japanese GP, so that we can run the new specification pus on both cars from then on."

An engine component can be changed more than once in the same grand prix weekend, but if that happens then only the most recent part fitted is added to the driver's pool of available components.

Crucially, as Honda can re-use older combustion engines for both drivers, the new engine introduced on Friday is added to Honda's pool of available power units.

This means it can work on the upgraded combustion engine as required and then use it in Japan next week without triggering fresh grid penalties.

Gasly has changed to a complete set of older parts, so next week he will switch back to all-new components that were used in Russia on Friday.

Toro Rosso has opted to introduce a new turbocharger and MGU-H on Hartley's car though.

This has been done in the interest of saving time, because it is easier for Honda to marry new versions of those components to an older spec combustion engine and make a complete engine change than it would be to only change some components.

Hartley's turbo, MGU-K and MGU-H will therefore be fresher than Gasly's here in Russia and also to the spec designed to match with the upgraded combustion engine.

However, this is not expected to cause a major performance variation between the two cars, and he will need to use these new turbo and ERS components next weekend in Japan.

The two drivers matched their FP2 laptimes in FP3 with the older-spec engine, but the session was at least a couple of tenths faster for the majority of their rivals.

Both drivers will still need to serve the grid penalties their initial engine changes triggered this weekend.

shares
comments
Force India's new owners planning new F1 factory

Previous article

Force India's new owners planning new F1 factory

Next article

Russian Grand Prix FP3: Lewis Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2

Russian Grand Prix FP3: Lewis Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Honda Racing F1 Team
Author Scott Mitchell
The defining traits that set F1’s best apart Plus

The defining traits that set F1’s best apart

What makes the very best drivers in Formula 1 stand out among what is already a highly elite bunch? ANDREW BENSON takes a closer look at those with the special blend of skill, judgment, feel 
and attitude that sets only a select 
few apart from the rest.

How an unlikely F1 outsider gained acceptance Plus

How an unlikely F1 outsider gained acceptance

Channel 4's decision to pick Steve Jones as presenter of its Formula 1 coverage in 2016 raised eyebrows, and his presenting style grated with many fans at first. But, says BEN EDWARDS, Jones has developed into a presenter ripe for modern F1's direction

Formula 1
Mar 6, 2021
The updates Williams hopes will lead to a points-scoring return Plus

The updates Williams hopes will lead to a points-scoring return

After producing a car which demonstrated progress but lacked the points to prove it last year, Williams starts its new era of team ownership with the FW43B, its bid to continue the climb up the Formula 1 grid in 2021

Formula 1
Mar 5, 2021
How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare Plus

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare

The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top

Formula 1
Mar 4, 2021
Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Plus

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Plus

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021 Plus

The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front Plus

How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front

A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021