McLaren MP4-31, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2016

Honda preparing to supply second team

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Honda could be ready to supply a second F1 team from 2018.

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Comment of the day

John believes Kevin Magnussen deserves more praise for his points-scoring performance in Singapore:

Magnussen has to be the driver with top physical condition. He also had a water bottle problem (namely overheating from a mechanical issue) two years back in Malaysia, traditionally another very hot and demanding race.

This all only sharply contrasts with his father admittedly barely even working out during his own F1 experience.
@JohnBeak

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On this day in F1

Sebastian Vettel led a one-two for Red Bull in qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix five years ago today:

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  • 35 comments on “Honda preparing to supply second team”

    1. Here I was quietly optimistic about the future of F1 under new USA based ownership, and then I read ESPNs view of how to improve it.
      WOW the excitement of waiting to see what color the teams will be wearing this week !
      Ferrari going back to their 1950s livery.
      F1 cars having a hand-brake parking competition.
      I’m so excited I just wet myself.

      1. I personally liked the lawn mower race 2 years ago just before the British Grand Prix- you know, the one Raikonnen won over Brundle and Davidson.

      2. You know it’s bad when you and I both agree haha.

        That article is an embarrassment to ESPN.

      3. The only decent idea was to replicate the NFL’s £140 GamePass — problem is, Sky have the rights locked up until 2024.
        Doh!

        The call for a track lottery was good for a chuckle, but I’m surprised they missed out the obvious cure to the sport’s problems: F1 needs sprinklers now!

      4. I had to read this twice before I figured that this was ESPN’s UK site, not USA. The NFL ColorRush idea is now dead: fans and teams did not like it and it didn’t improve merchandise sales. Ferrari is already running a “throwback” livery now in 2016. I think their ideas are half-baked at best.

      5. Theres a couple workable points i guess.

    2. I completely agree with comment of the day, although I would like to mention that if my memory serves me correctly, it was actually the Singapore Grand Prix where his drink failed and scalded his mouth, and his seat burnt his back too. Although I could be wrong there! This drive was also very good.

      That ESPN article was a fantastic read, and it really summed it up perfectly! There is just so much F1 could do

      1. Definitely agree too! Kevin was one of the most highly rated drivers when he entered F1 and after leaving McLaren he’s been overshadowed by younger drivers trying to get into the sport (e.g. Vandoorne, who Magnussen beat to the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 championship). Since he can’t really show his pace using the car, examples of stamina such as driving without a drinks bottle will do his reputation some good.

        1. Just would like to point out that when Magnussen beat Vandoorne, Magnussen was in his second year in the series while Vandoorne was a rookie.

    3. About Porsche looking to supply Formula E: It will continue to attract more and more manufacturers. Because FE relevant to the scenario in auto industry today, with electric cars and self driving tech, Formula One is not. People could argue about F1’s power unit, but any manufacturer who’s interested in hybrids would look to WEC, which everyone knows is much more technologically free and advanced.
      With Audi, Renault, Citroen, Jaguar, McLaren already aboard FE, Porsche, Red Bull, Williams, Mahindra and a few others interested in supplying batteries, F1 can only dream of this.
      And the current situation just worsens the problem. Mr E wants to have V12s or V10s back, there is no roadmap as to where it’s headed after 2020. And by that time, FE will already be punching a hole in the atmosphere. Why would anyone then want to invest so much in an F1 team which would have no relevance whatsoever to them?
      Also Liberty taking over just compounds the problem- these people don’t seem to know a thing about F1 when talking about having more races. The teams are already stretched out to their limits.
      Coming years will see more manufacturers flock away to FE, especially with the Roborace, and F1 will be left with nothing but greedy idiots in the form of Mercedes and Ferrari, running 10 cars each.
      I believe then the only way F1 can be saved would be to go full electric, maybe with all wheel drive systems and 1000+ horsepower post 2020. We knew electric cars were around the corner somewhere in the future, now it’s that time. That’s the only way to attract manufacturers and have good competition and not become another spec series. Else Grand Prix won’t be so “grand” anymore.

      1. @theaeroguy, if the WEC were doing such a sterling job of promoting hybrids, why is it the case that they are struggling to lure more new manufacturers into the LMP1 category, despite aggressively courting manufacturers?

        Equally, within Formula E, how much of the technology that is developed there really does go into a conventional road car? Manufacturers like to claim that it does, but it is questionable given that quite a large chunk of the parts that go into your average road car are often manufactured by third party organisations that have nothing to do with motorsport.

        For example, when Ford produced an electric version of the Focus, they bought the entire powertrain from Magna International, an automotive component supplier – a company that also supplies a large number of other companies and, in quite a few instances, is often the company that actually builds the cars you buy (in Europe, for example, there is a good chance that if you buy a new BMW 5 series, your car would have been built in Graz by Magna).

        1. For WEC: Probably because there’s a cap on how many entries WEC can have, due to its arrangements with Le Mans. It is required to have four classes. So while WEC would welcome new manufacturers, the aggressive courting is more in case of a situation like in 2010, when Peugeot left at short notice, rather than in any serious expectation of getting new teams. The next aim is to get smaller teams in LMP1 by removing them from LMP2, which is the opposite of getting manufacturers into such a limited-size space. In short, it’s to make sure there are more manufacturers than seats, and thus keep better control over the ones who are there. Maybe it might backfire, but it’s a very different approach from what F1 is doing, or can do (F1 is effectively all LMP1, so needs different tactics to fill its 26 seats).

          For Formula E: at the moment, not much. The amount is likely to grow a lot in the next few years, and not just into road cars, but anything with a high-performance battery (including laptops and smartphones).

          1. @alianora-la-canta, if the ACO really were aiming to increase the number of privateer entries in the LMP1 class, their policies have had the polar opposite effect.

            Earlier this year, the privateers that were interested in entering the LMP1 class put together a package of proposals to the ACO, chief of which was a request for greater rule stability and measures to make competing in that class more affordable.

            The ACO’s solution was to ignore those requests and to plough ahead with their 2017 regulation package, which is deeply unpopular with the entrants in the LMP1 and LMP2 classes, and by imposing restrictions on engine supply deals to the privateer class that have reduced the number of suppliers and pushed up costs. Their proposals for the privateer class have done very little to try and close the performance gap – because it is not in their interests to have a competitive non-hybrid car, given it would create the wrong PR message – but has just imposed more costs on those teams.

            The net result is that the privateers which were interested in moving up into the LMP1 promptly all cancelled their plans for 2017 on the basis that the ACO was making it unaffordable to compete in that class. Henri Pescarolo complained earlier this year that, compared to just a few years earlier, the new regulations that the ACO brought in have caused a sixfold increase in the cost of competing, and complained that they had completely killed his team.

            The whole reason why you’ve got so many privateer entrants in the LMP2 class is because the cost inflation in the P1 class and the ACO’s bias towards the manufacturer entrants meant that they left that class to compete in a class that was actually affordable. They are not keen on moving back to the P1 class until they can actually afford to compete and might have a reasonable chance of competing – something which the manufacturers do not want the ACO to do, and the ACO is beholden to them given that they are dependent on the manufacturers to finance the WEC.

            Equally, the ACO’s efforts to try and lure new manufacturers into the WEC is not just an insurance policy. They were trying extremely hard to lure BMW into the sport earlier this year by trying to entice them into a hybrid “Garage 56” entry, and then to move from that into the LMP1 class – a move which BMW publicly rejected, stating that they had no interest in either option.

            With regards to Formula E, you might believe that there is a benefit going from the motorsport world to the consumer electronics industry but, if anything, the flow of technology has overwhelmingly been in the opposite direction. The spending on battery development in the consumer electronics industry is much greater than in the automotive sector, and the automotive sector has been piggybacking on the back of that – Elon Musk has pointed out that Tesla’s batteries were originally designed for use in laptops, with Musk simply buying the patents and manufacturing equipment wholesale from the consumer electronics sector.

    4. About Porsche looking to supply Formula E: It will continue to attract more and more manufacturers. Because FE relevant to the scenario in auto industry today, with electric cars and self driving tech, Formula One is not. People could argue about F1’s power unit, but any manufacturer who’s interested in hybrids would look to WEC, which everyone knows is much more technologically free and advanced.
      With Audi, Renault, Citroen, Jaguar, McLaren already aboard FE, Porsche, Red Bull, Williams, Mahindra and a few others interested in supplying batteries, F1 can only dream of this.
      And the current situation just worsens the problem. Mr E wants to have V12s or V10s back, there is no roadmap as to where it’s headed after 2020. And by that time, FE will already be punching a hole in the atmosphere. Why would anyone then want to invest so much in an F1 team which would have no relevance whatsoever to them?
      Also Liberty taking over just compounds the problem- these people don’t seem to know a thing about F1 when talking about having more races. The teams are already stretched out to their limits.
      Coming years will see more manufacturers flock away to FE, especially with the Roborace, and F1 will be left with nothing but greedy people in the form of Mercedes and Ferrari, running 10 cars each.
      I believe then the only way F1 can be saved would be to go full electric, maybe with all wheel drive systems and 1000+ horsepower post 2020. We knew electric cars were around the corner somewhere in the future, now it’s that time. That’s the only way to attract manufacturers and have good competition and not become another spec series. Else Grand Prix won’t be so “grand” anymore.

      1. I think the best way to do it would be to keep the limit on petrol engines, but also allow alternative power sources with much lower restrictions. So if they could make a solar powered car that could deliver 2000hp then thats fine. If they can make a hydrogen powered car that can make 1500hp but needs to pit stop every 40 mins, thats cool too. Lift the restriction on new technologies and have tighter restrictions on old dated technologies to push things forward. Thats my idea of what formula 1 should be.

        1. I say go the other way, push the boat out….

          Be hydrogen engines with hybrid components!

      2. F1 isn’t relevant to Sure deodorant either or TAG Heuer or Heineken for that matter. It’s a marketing platform attracting hundreds of millions of predominantly male consumers.

      3. Pretty much, keep these amazing 1.6 engines and unleash eećlectric side. 160hpfor start 2017. Then every year raise it. 200hp next year.. 250,… Etc.

        Introduce front harvesting, 4 wheel drive, whatever. Active suspension, maybe aero.

        Most importantly reduce aero development and importance, so car companies can spend their money on more relevant race derived powerplants.

        This way by 2025-2030 F1 can drive at full speed fully electric and petrol will be a thing of the past.

        Who knows when flat out racing for 300km will be first possible on electric power. When it does happen F1 needs to be there to be relevant for the future.

        1. @jureo
          Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.
          It makes sense to limit the peak electrical power output to 160 bhp, because there’s only a limited amount of energy that can be harvested from brake and turbocharger heat. If you raise that limit, you achieve practically nothing, except an increased gap between qualifying and race performances. It would be possible to use the extra energy during qualifying if you charge the batteries in the pits. If not, that’s already a problem, you’d have to go out on the track and cruise for several laps to gather enough energy. And that’d restrict a driver to pretty much a single timed lap per session, because if you deploy all your energy, but your lap somehow goes wrong (think about yellow flags), you’d need to recharge your batteries again for quite a while.
          In the race, you’d be restricted to what we already have now: your batteries are never quite full, so you can only use a bit of battery power every lap, except if you slow down for a few laps and harvest more. But that’s not how you should drive in a race, as you might get overtaken left and right, and using the full boost for a single lap wouldn’t help you regain all these positions.

          The problem is that the current ERS batteries are some three orders of magnitude smaller than what they need to be to be able to complete a race distance with them while lapping at a similar pace as we have today. Right now, you can deploy up to 160 bhp for up to 50 seconds before needing to recharge the batteries. The combustion engines alone produce around 800 bhp, and a lap in an F1 car is driven at full throttle between 50% and 80% of the lap time.
          If you wanted to drive 53 laps in Monza on a similar level as a current F1 car with a catastrophic ERS failure, you’d need batteries with a capacity that’s around 365 times larger than the ones we have now. With current technology, that’s a battery that weighs somewhere between 750 and 900 kilograms – not including the driver, wheels, not to mention everything else. And that’s an optimistic estimate, as I used Nico Rosberg’s time at the finish line for my calculation. If you want to add 80 bhp, your battery gets 10% larger, and that doesn’t account for the exponential growth of power needed for the acceleration of an ever-heavier car.
          Of course, this doesn’t take energy harvesting into account. However, the problem is that a race car loses so much energy in the form of heat, sound, displaced air that only a small fraction can be recovered – a fraction that gets exponentially smaller as the power needed for a heavier car goes up.

          That’s why we have an electrical propulsion that can only contribute a very valuable fraction of the total power during a fraction of a lap. Anything else would result in a pathetic slug race, at least for the next few decades, until humanity discovers a way to increase battery capacity per weight by three orders of magnitude.
          Don’t get me wrong, that’ll eventually happen. But we won’t live to see that day.

      4. The premise of your analysis is that automobile manufacturers need be the principle source of funds and technology. That is a reasonable premise but it is not a requirement.

    5. The espn article is excellent. It just highlights how poor a job F1s administrators have done for the fans over the past ten years. Glad to see the back of cvc hopefully Bernie will follow soon.

    6. Beyond the largely boring races and Mercedes domination, there lies the magic of engineering! Kudos to that!

    7. Resurrecting the old Procar series is a fantastic idea, sadly I can’t see it happening in today’s highly commercialised sport though. What cars would they use?

      Are Mercedes really going to let Hamilton be seen to win in a BMW? How about Ferrari with Vettel in an Aston Martin or Renault with Magnusson in a Ford?

    8. Am I famous now or something? :P

      1. yes, @johnbeak. You won’t be able to comment without fans flocking towards you. Soon you will be recognized every time you go online :-)

      2. It’s something, definitely!

    9. I quite like some of the ideas in the ESPN article or perhaps slight tweaks of them. I would like for example, to see secondary events with retired drivers racing against current ones or each other over shorter distances.

      All except the lottery one which is ridiculous. How and why are circuits going to keep themselves up to F1 standards with the prospect of perhaps only holding a race every 3 or even 4 years. How about the fans who go to their race or a nearby one every year? I just cannot see this working.

      I also cannot see how the number of races can expand to 25 really. The teams already struggle to meet the demands of 20/21 races. Is their really room for these without either severely limiting the time for winter preparations or more back to back weekends? Personally I would stick with a max of 20 race weekends. I suppose the answer would be more income for the teams.

    10. Will Ron Dennis be okay if Honda suddenly decides to offer engine to other teams? After all, the move from Mercedes to Honda engines was primarily driven by McLaren’s desire to have an exclusive engine partner. For Honda, it could be beneficial – more teams means more data and possibly more earnings. They can even offer a good deal to some struggling teams and open up opportunities for a Japanese driver on the grid as well. More interesting is what would happen to McLaren. Can they pull off what RBR did with Renault and have Honda engines at the back of the car under a different brand and with flexibility options?

      1. Since this is coming out now, and they’re talking about 2018 at the earliest, I don’t think there will be anything ‘sudden’ about Honda supplying another team. And I don’t see why McLaren or another team would feel the need to rebrand the Honda PU. RBR’s circumstance with Renault has been unique.

    11. Really fascinating piece from ESPN. It shows how much could be done. America’s Game is one of my favourite sports shows. Its a fantastic show charting that teams Championship winning year. Its a style of show that could be replicated on a F1 Network. I’d pay for that, Sky had a chance but between GPs there is nothing on. The F1 channel is now quite poor.

    12. Reading that ESPN article made me realise why US sports pretty much only work in the US.

    13. It’s going to be funny how, if HAM loses the title to ROS, the former’s fan would blame it on Mercedes reliability and the engine failures. The truth is, reliability has been high, and only Merc’s pursuit of moar powah are at fault for a minimal number of points lost to the sister car, but without those glitches in the search for a better engine, Hamilton would not have the luxury to deliver some ‘hammer time’ when he’s most needed it.

      I believe RIC would’ve happily taken some engine penalties for the chance to hunt down a W07 with 80 more bhp.

    14. I don`t think there`s a point to boost engine towards 1000hp on a track like Singapore or Monaco.
      Spa, Monza-definitely yes, but why here?

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