Honda 2015 F1 power unit

Honda sets Mercedes power unit target

2014 F1 season

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Honda 2015 F1 power unitHonda’s research and development head Yasuhisa Arai says the engine manufacturer’s target for its return to Formula One is to get on terms with Mercedes, who have set the standard with F1’s new V6 hybrid turbo power trains.

“Our target is very clear,” said Arai during today’s FIA press conference at Suzuka. “This season, the Mercedes is top of top so next season we shall achieve that same competition or power. Everyone understands that and wants to exceed that power. Lots of work.”

Arai expects to have a test car running with a Honda engine after the end of the current season and said he is “not concerned” they will only have data from a single team to work on.

“Our partner is very strong and I think one of the best teams,” he said. “Of course that means just one team’s data, but maybe that’s enough, I think.”

“So we already discussed with our partner and set a target and already we have agreed whether the target is good or not. Then finally, maybe in March 2015 we will be in a good position.”

According to Arai, Honda has not seen expressions of interest from customer teams about a future engine supply because the potential of their power unit is currently unknown.

However he did offer a view on the debate surrounding whether F1’s engine development restrictions should be relaxed.

“From the engineers and many fans, they and we want to keep the competition,” he said, “so in a season, to develop the many parts and to keep the competition is very important, just from engineering and fans’ side”.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 26 comments on “Honda sets Mercedes power unit target”

    1. McLaren Honda with a Red and white livery and Alonso in the middle of it. Could be exciting times next season for McLaren.

      1. It’s pretty anyway (like an engine centerfold). Time will tell if it’s good, here’s hoping. It looks (from my casual observer’s eye) that they have not used the same trick as Merc with an axle through he engine block for the turbo impeller to deliver the power directly. Honda’s turbo unit appears to be in a fairly conventional position above and at the front of the engine.

        1. What you’re seeing is a CAD rendering, not an actual photo; the real engine could be hugely different. Also, if you look closely, there is no crankshaft, oil pump parts are missing, etc. It’s disappointing, as a technical fan, that the manufacturers aren’t providing real detail pictures of the engines. I haven’t seen an actual Mercedes engine installation picture showing the compressor location, or, really, anything. Do we really need all this secrecy?

          1. The Blade Runner (@)
            3rd October 2014, 16:49

            As someone who is not particularly savvy when it comes to the workings and appearance of the internal combustion engine… I think it looks like a Transformer’s head!

            Optimus Prime: “Autobot ‘McLaren’, you have done well in recapturing the WDC from the evil Merc-atron…”

        2. SteveR comment is correct, they don’t like giving away any details, so produce generic renderings. I think Mercedes rendering didn’t show a split turbo either.

          It will be interesting to see what path Honda take, as Ferrari did have some really good innovations too. Like the water cooled intercooler (which probably negates some of the need for the split turbo) the engines small size that allows for its closer to mid-line placement.

      2. The Blade Runner (@)
        3rd October 2014, 12:13

        As a McLaren fan I’ve been salivating over that prospect for a little while now!

        The Martini livery and rebranding, coupled with a huge leap forward in development and performance, have completely changed the perception of Williams. McLaren haven’t quite sunk to the level Williams had but a Honda and Alonso coupling together with a change of livery and sponsorship could herald the start of a new McLaren era provided, of course, that it is accompanied by improving on-track performance.

      3. Red and white was about Marlboro, wasn’t it? Honda is red and white too but I’d rather see an orange McLaren.

    2. “Of course that means just one team’s data, but maybe that’s enough, I think.”

      Honestly, I can’t see it being a problem. It’s not like the Renault PU really benefited from having two Red Bull teams running it, because only the main team seems to have/give any input.

      The situation seems the same for the Ferrari teams too – only real noted ‘development’ was that heat insulation that Marussia devised to prevent heat loss ahead of the MGU-H.

      1. @optimaximal I beg to differ, I think Lotus wore the brunt of the issues with the Renault powerplant because they were the Renault team outside of the RBR/Toro Rosso system. As such Renault learned a great deal in the background from the troubles that Lotus had. Remember when we had Lotus chugging along like an obese asthmatic hamster trying to reach a piece of cheese on the top of a hill. Renault was able to work with both RBR and Lotus to try and find engine mappings that could get it to work harmoniously.
        And, as for Ferrari, their engine tuning hasn’t progressed at the same rate as Renault throughout the year. Arguably, Ferrari were further down the road with their package, but it seems Renault are either on par or just slightly behind Ferrari at this stage of the season, which is a great step forward considering the aforementioned hamster.

      2. I think Renault learnt a great deal from Caterham, since Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Lotus could barely complete a lap.

    3. yes they had to match, and it should be better.

    4. “This season, the Mercedes is top of top so next season we shall achieve that same competition or power. Everyone understands that and wants to exceed that power. Lots of work.”
      My concern is that Honda, Renault and Ferrari are all scrambling to get to the same level as Mercedes. But Mercedes themselves will have learned a great deal from 2014, I’m sure they’d benefit with making some changes to their plant once the engine freeze has been lifted and 2015 will again be that much further ahead of the other teams.
      The other thing that worries me about 2015 is that no one has actually pinpointed 1 aspect of the Mercedes car that stands them apart from every other car, including other Merc powered cars. I suspect that the Mercedes package is overall superior, perhaps not as much downforce as a Adrian Newey RBR, however, with all the different systems, I suspect that they’re possibly superior in many aspects in comparison to the competition around them.

      1. I agree with you but i doubt they can be superior to RBR in 2015 , Considering how much Deficit they had in terms of power and the lack of Perfect Synchronization between Chassis and Engine they still stood up so i dont think they will be fastest but i believe they will become much much closer to give merc run for their money.

      2. I just hope Ferrari, Renault and Honda don’t end up with a huge power deficit to Mercedes. 2015 cannot be a Rosberg vs. Hamilton again, one year OK, two years it will become dull.

    5. Well, Honda are the biggest engine manufacturer in the world so, if anyone can do it, I suspect they can. Here’s hoping.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        3rd October 2014, 13:17

        Indeed ‘biggest (internal combustion) engine manufacturer in the world’.
        And for any doubters around, just check your nearest lawnmower.

        1. Strictly out side your joke
          I think the ICE of Merc , Ferrari and Renault produce more or less same output but the ERS is what making others trailing Merc , Lets see how 2015 pans out

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            3rd October 2014, 14:32

            @harsha, correct it was a cheeky comment – I do expect that Honda can make a decent engine.

            On the ICU HP vs ERS I’m not sure. One would expect that any ERS gap can be solved through engine mapping (which is not frozen ever I believe).
            Therefore, I still think that Ferrari and Renault are also behind on the hardware part, or having to offset too much due to fuel consumption.

          2. Does anyone have any more accurate figures of the power outputs this year of the ICE? I heard they would be around or just over 600, which is really disappointing in my opinion. But then I also heard some saying they would be more than that, after having them around for over half a year, does anyone know more precise figures?

            1. (600hp, not Kw).

            2. @williamstuart, from what I remember they put out around 600bhp, but the Mercedes PU is said to put out closer to 700bhp.

        2. I can’t wait for F1 tech to make it into my lawnmower. ERS could give a nice boost for coming out of the corners.

    6. Actually, Mercedes is a horrible target. Honda should be trying to be ahead of Mercedes.

    7. My hope is that Honda will be able to use some og their indycar experience, producing the 2.2 v6 turbo… And therefore may allready be ahead og Mercedes knowledge wise…

      1. God imagine if it all came together next year, Honda produce a better engine than Mercedes can, McLaren produce a very good chassis and Alonso joins for 2015. That would be incredible!

    8. If they beat Maldonado next year, have they achieved their target?

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