Honda: We didn’t aim high enough in 2016

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Honda’s Yusuke Hasegawa says the engine manufacturer should have set its sights higher this year.

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No 1.8-kilometre blast for F1 at Paul Ricard – does that mean we’re missing out?

I think we have kind of become inured to the speed. When you watch on TV, you don’t get it at all.

It’s amazing that these cars with the cD of a sofa are running 225mph while being set up for a road course, i.e., as fast as IndyCars running on banked ovals with asymmetric set ups at very low downforce.

Also, with today’s reliability, sustained 220mph is no big deal. Back in the day, places like Hockenheim were known for cars showering the track with molten intake valves after one flat out run too many. These long straights represented a unique test of man and machine and an expression of raw power.
DaveW (@Dmw)

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Five years ago today Romain Grosjean’s return to F1 was confirmed as he signed for Renault:

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26 comments on “Honda: We didn’t aim high enough in 2016”

  1. To continue with COTD’s argument, F1 cars don’t look exciting on the straights at all. Look at the footage from Mexico. They were breaking speed records but it looked as dull as ever. They show the worst side of the tracks these days, the wide TV screens male it look slow, and they put the cameras in line with the straight. You’ve got no way to take a reference point and see how fast they are actually going.

    1. Jorge Olivier
      9th December 2016, 3:59

      I commented the other day that I thought the shots are planned to show the static advertisement on track and not the cars, so I re-watched the Abu Dhabi GP only paying attention to the ads. Yep, they make a perfect job showing ads instead of the race. In Abu Dhabi two thirds of the shots start with an ad centered in the frame and an empty track, fractions of a second later appears the car they are “following”, they pan the camera with the ads far away enough so they don’t blur -thus reducing the sense of speed-, and finish the shot with the car leaving the frame with another ad in the center, the shot stays a fraction of a second with the track empty and they start over with the next shot in the same way.

    2. +1 regarding the camera angles. Here’s a perfect illustration of why putting cameras in line with a straight completely hides the speed:

      These jets don’t even look like they’re moving. When I watch fan shot clips of F1 on youtube, you get such a better sense of speed, and the cars sound better too.

    3. As Jorge also mentions, the cars are fine on their speed, it is the way we are shown them by the footage that is wrong. Its purpose is not to show us fast cars, but to show both names on the cars but most promenently show the advertising on the sides (and sometimes the architecture or landscape around it) @fer-no65, @tim-m

    4. Yes if I remember right 2006 had the best camera angles I had ever seen.

    5. FOM needs to ban long-focal length TV cameras. :)

  2. So McLaren didn’t expect other teams to improve so much and hence kept their targets low.
    This shows how fundamentally, McLaren and Honda have both got it wrong. They both don’t even know the limits of engine power that can be unlocked from these hybrid PUs. They probably thought rivals would plateau by mid of this year but the plateau is still not coming (without the token system now, probably engines will become even more).

    I don’t see how 2017 is going to be a major change for McLaren given this situation. They simply don’t know how much HP and how many points of downforce to aim for. Classic management problem.

    1. Are they saying they could have gone faster?
      It’s just rubbish talk. They were even afraid to use their tokens. And when they did, wasted them. Honda needs to be bold

      1. I guess they are saying that they think they could have put in more effort and money and made the engines faster, yes OOliver. Not really a racing mentality, is it.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          9th December 2016, 8:04

          @bascb, I read it differently.
          In choosing between speed and reliability, (with hindsight) they feel that they focused too much on reliability; expecting that if finishing they would be top 10.

          1. yes, but isn’t that saying exactly what i mentioned too @coldfly? Instead of trying to go for a faster/more powerful engine they played it safe (didn’t risk having to put as much money into solving reliability later) and left too much performance on the table.

            After 2015 it is quite understandable how they went with the choices they made. And I am not saying that it was clearly the wrong way to go, but Honda now seems to think it was the wrong approach.

          2. ColdFly F1 (@)
            9th December 2016, 9:59

            I don’t think they needed “more effort and money” but “a different effort and approach’ (which they alluded to themselves in the article).

      2. It is not rubbish talk, it is Ronn talk!

    2. Honda would have been hampered by the Token system, which was basically designed to ensure the best engine stayed the best engine, and the engine which was most lacking in performance would stay the most lacking in performance. Now that the 2016 season is over Honda will have a free hand to improve their engine.
      I don’t think throwing more money at the engine during 2016 would have produced a better engine than what they currently have because there isn’t any guarantee they could have got the extra improvements through the token system and into the race car.

    3. It’s weird to me that they were using targets in the first place. A target is a limit. Below the target you are dissatisfied and at the target you are satisfied.

      You use targets to motivate, when you think that without them people won’t pursue the goal as vigorously. But in this case the objective is obvious and limitless, and motivation should be at 11 already. You don’t seek 910 bhp or whatever, you seek ‘more’. Always more.

      1. I suppose the target was limited by the token system, they had 2 options for 2016, improve the performance at the risk of reliability, or improve the reliability at the risk of performance. Simulations would have shown reliability would have yielded more points.

        1. I felt they gave the token system way too much respect. It was Mercedes and Ferrari who were pushing the boundaries, we heard, on the reliability, cost and consumption exemptions, but I bet FIA would have given Honda all kinds of leeway to help them get on terms.

    4. Mclaren Honda are an absolute disaster. I don’t even know where to start with this team –

      Started off with a completely illogical philosophy – ‘size zero’ approach in the Hybrid era!?!? Compromise on PU performance for packaging benefit landed them in the worst possible scenario – being unreliable and incredibly slow.

      They weren’t paying attention when Ferrari adopted a similar approach in 2014 and failed with their PU performance. Ferrari fixed it in 2015 and saw immediate gains. Mclaren were clearly snoozing when this piece of enlightenment was thrown their way as they continued with the same philosophy in 2016, and have made no ground on their rivals. To add to their damage they have failed to make a good enough chassis which makes the entire project a complete failure from every angle.

      But … wait… you’re right Mr.Hasegawa. The real problem is that your target setting is off.

  3. I’d love to see Kobayashi in a Merc! The master of the Banzai move! Take the back seat Max!


  4. Honda, you’re a loser because you don’t understand F1 anymore. Neither does Mclaren.

    Back in 2013-2014 when you know you’d be entering the sport you had the opportunity to run your power unit in the back of an F1 car for unlimited testing. Sure an F1 spec chassis matching 2014 rules would have cost mclaren a pretty penny to build for you but there would have been nothing anyone could do to stop you and you’d have nothing but championship headlines for the past 2 years.

    F1 is about cheating – running on the edge of the rules – blowing past them when you can.

    You lack this cutthroat mentality and will forever remain a midfield team until that changes.

    Ask Mercedes (tire tests – whispering in the ears of the PU rule makers).

    Ask Red Bull (flexible front nose cones acting as mass dampeners and about a million other legal cheats)

    PS – Ferrari you’re losing because you failed to actually gain an aero advantage with your unlimited wind tunnel time via HAAS. Total failure and lack of cutthroat behavior = losers.

  5. ‘We didn’t aim high enough in 2016’…to keep Aponso?

    1. Oops, whose Aponso? Alonso of course.

  6. Taki Inoue’s CV is a work of art. :)

    1. @geemac

      Yeah.. I thought it was too. Especially the got hit by the safety car twice part

  7. I don’t see why Hasegawa is crying about not aiming higher… it’s not like they hit their low targets anyways. They had aimed to be the best of the midfield and target a few podiums…and they bombed on that front.

    Regardless of where they aim in 2017, they are not going to hit it… so what’s the point of this whole exercise?

  8. Giedo once agian showing his typical Dutch class,…

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