The evidence that shows Honda can excel again
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The evidence that shows Honda can excel again

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One of Honda's key attributes is one of its biggest flaws, and dates back to its first foray into Formula 1. But the philosophy behind its stubbornness also means there's hope it can recover from its so far disastrous F1 engine project

After three seasons of frustrating underachievement for Honda in Formula 1, you'd be forgiven for believing that failure had become the project's abiding feature, and that Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley are quaking in their boots at the thought of multiple grid penalties and inglorious blow-ups this coming season.

Well, yes and no.

One of Honda's greatest strengths as a brand is also its signature weakness: it's an unashamedly engineering-led company with a burning aversion to doing anything the same way as its competitors, and which views failure as the acceptable cost of learning to win. So it has been in pretty much every field of Honda endeavour (apart from lawnmower engines), from road cars and motorbikes to the racetrack. In the 1960s it started from nothing in F1, rose to win the last grand prix of the 1.5-litre era, then squandered that momentum by diverting resources to developing an air-cooled 3-litre successor.

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