Honda’s 'big improvement' after F1 engine upgrade setback explained

Honda believes it has made a "big improvement" with its upgraded Formula 1 engine after working on the issues that delayed the new specification until this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix

Honda’s 'big improvement' after F1 engine upgrade setback explained

The Japanese manufacturer's updated engine was used in practice last week in Russia, but Honda opted not to continue after recording some irregular behaviour on track.

This was related to the driveability of the engine, which suffered from higher than expected gearbox oscillations.

Honda worked on the engine back at its Milton Keynes base, where it has the necessary gearbox equipment, and just days later it is impressed by the results from Friday practice at Suzuka ahead of its home F1 race.

"The latest version of our PU, which we first used on Friday in Sochi, has produced encouraging data today," said Honda F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe.

"It's a big improvement and validates the tuning work we carried out on this new PU since Russia."

Autosport understands that a software change has allowed Honda to better manage the oscillations from the gearbox and stop them being so aggressive.

Both Toro Rosso drivers were suffering from unpredictable torque delivery last week in Sochi.

This was not to the same degree as the problems suffered by McLaren in 2017 pre-season testing, where Honda's engine was suffering extreme oscillations that prompted odd gear changes to avoid the problem.

Pierre Gasly said the torque delivery "is much better this weekend", while his team-mate Brendon Hartley ended Friday 10th-fastest.

Hartley said: "It was very clear in Sochi that we had some work to do on a few areas of mapping and already there's been a really good step here in Suzuka.

"There's no doubt there's more power. And they improved all the mapping deficits we had in Sochi.

"A lot of those have moved a big step in the right direction."

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost declared it must progression through to Q3 with the upgrade.

Honda's confidence that it has the engine oscillations under control will play a key role in it being able to maximise the engine.

Improved driveability will mean more performance over one lap and over a stint, while less aggressive gearbox oscillations will lower reliability concerns.

Gasly, who missed most of FP2 because of a fuel system problem, admitted the engine was still being run safely.

He said what was possible in qualifying at Suzuka would depend on "what setting we can have".

"I think in terms of spec it's probably not much better than the spec we had in Sochi, but I think we can be a bit more aggressive with the settings and the mapping and extract more," he continued.

"I don't know if it's one tenths, one and a half, or two tenths. Hopefully it will be clear enough to see it on the lap time."

shares
comments
Haas drivers hail 'surprising' Force India pace in recent F1 races
Previous article

Haas drivers hail 'surprising' Force India pace in recent F1 races

Next article

Hamilton wants 2019 Pirelli F1 tyres to be 'three steps softer'

Hamilton wants 2019 Pirelli F1 tyres to be 'three steps softer'
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Formula 1
Jun 27, 2022
Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Plus

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Plus

Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022
How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector Plus

How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector

In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far Plus

The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz came close to winning in Monaco but needed that race’s specific circumstances for his shot at a maiden Formula 1 victory to appear. Last weekend in Canada, he led the line for Ferrari in Charles Leclerc’s absence from the front. And there’s a key reason why Sainz has turned his 2022 form around

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

Plenty of high scores but just a single perfect 10 from the first Montreal race in three years, as Max Verstappen fended off late pressure from Carlos Sainz. Here’s Autosport’s assessment on the Formula 1 drivers from the Canadian Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022