Honda hopes for more F1 engine gains this year

Honda hopes it will be able to upgrade its combustion engine technology again before the end of the 2018 Formula 1 season.

Honda hopes for more F1 engine gains this year
Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13
Toyoharu Tanabe, F1 Technical Director, Honda
Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso STR13
Toyoharu Tanabe, F1 Technical Director, Honda, and Gerhard Berger
Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13
Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso STR13
Brendon Hartley, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13
Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso STR13
Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13

The Japanese manufacturer introduced an improved V6 in Canada earlier this year which played a key role in convincing Red Bull to switch from Renault to Honda for 2019.

Honda has worked on improving the reliability of its MGU-H this season but has otherwise avoided setting performance targets for its energy recovery systems.

In the British Grand Prix, Honda's deficit to Mercedes and Ferrari was estimated at a second of laptime around Silverstone, as Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly lamented his lack of straightline speed.

That was exacerbated by Silverstone's circuit layout, particularly the flat-out Abbey and Copse corners that effectively extend two straights, but Honda is still keen to find more performance this year with its combustion engine.

"I cannot tell you exactly yes or not, but we are still working on the ICE," Honda's F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe told Motorsport.com.

"I hope we will have some update and improvement within this season.

"[On Gasly's Silverstone] qualifying data we saw the performance difference on the straights.

"Of course we have [corners] here, where you can go full throttle, especially in qualifying.

"That gave us a hard time. It meant the PU performance difference here was more than at other circuits."

Honda's progress early in the season, particularly compared to Renault, buoyed Red Bull and left it optimistic about the other gains the engine maker will find before the start of the 2019 campaign.

Gasly said his frustration was not with Honda, which he said is "improving a lot", but rather with the reality that starting further behind the other engine makers gave it a "deficit that is really difficult to recover".

"It's more in terms of just pure performance and power from the engine, but I know they are working on it and they have a couple of ideas," said Gasly.

"I just need to give them time to bring it to the track, but at the moment we still lose quite a lot in terms of straightline speed.

"We still have to understand exactly how to get the best out of the Spec 2 engine."

Gasly finished 10th at Silverstone, although lost that world championship point to a post-race penalty, while his team-mate Brendon Hartley retired after one lap.

Hartley had to start from the pitlane after a suspension failure in practice destroyed his car and forced him to miss qualifying.

He was late out of the garage because of a problem installing new Honda engine parts, which led his immediate return to the pits.

"While fixing the car we had an issue with the installation on the PU side that caused an improper function," explained Tanabe.

"We saw unusual data on the PU side and we retired. I think the components are OK. We will check carefully for any damage."

shares
comments
Ricciardo: Mercedes looks vulnerable now

Previous article

Ricciardo: Mercedes looks vulnerable now

Next article

Access to Formula 1 drivers has gone "too far" - Webber

Access to Formula 1 drivers has gone "too far" - Webber
Load comments
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021