Honda's F1 engine rivals will plateau, reckons McLaren's Boullier

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier feels Honda's Formula 1 engine rivals will "plateau" in terms of development, helping the Japanese manufacturer to continue to gain ground

Honda's F1 engine rivals will plateau, reckons McLaren's Boullier

Honda has already made significant improvements this season since its difficult return to F1 last year, even though its home race in Japan last weekend was what Fernando Alonso described as "a nasty surprise" as the car did not suit Suzuka.

But with the lifting of the power unit development restrictions next season, Boullier believes Honda can take advantage of the lack of restrictions as it still has the most to gain, whereas Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault may be reaching their limits.

"The maturity of the Honda project [relative to other manufacturers] means it will keep growing up, and this is where the biggest gain will still be found," Boullier told Autosport.

"The engine regulations have one good point about them, and that's the quantity of fuel you can use, which means you limit the amount of energy you can use at any time.

"So there is a limit to this power unit development and we're heading towards a plateau, which is why there is a little more freedom in the regulations for us to catch up.

"Plus there is the fact Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault started developing their units in 2010; Honda started in 2013, three years later.

"So they are catching up, with much more gain to be found with this maturity, with this development.

"Having the possibility to freely develop the engine will help us even more, to get to this plateau fast.

"Right now we're still on an upward curve."

Alongside the freed up engine rules, the introduction of new aerodynamic regulations could potentially shake up the competitive order for 2017.

Boullier, though, is convinced McLaren will remain on an upward curve of improvement as he said: "I'm confident we will keep catching up.

"I know much more than you guys what's going on behind the scenes, and that makes me confident we will carry on catching up.

"Whatever happens next year we will close the gap, although I'm not making any predictions, no numbers, because we don't know what the others are doing.

"Right now we know exactly where we are compared to the others, and I could tell you next year where we will be more or less if we keep closing.

"But as far as we are concerned we know we will close the gap - definitely."

shares
comments
Haas F1's form back to Bahrain levels in Japan, Grosjean believes
Previous article

Haas F1's form back to Bahrain levels in Japan, Grosjean believes

Next article

F1 bosses shouldn't be afraid to criticise drivers

F1 bosses shouldn't be afraid to criticise drivers
Load comments
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
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

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
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