Honda tight-lipped over rumours of Mercedes input

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Honda is keeping quiet amid rumours its struggles with its engine are now so serious it has received assistance from rivals Mercedes.

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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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34 comments on “Honda tight-lipped over rumours of Mercedes input”

  1. No one can know that we know we suck

    1. Or the engine formula suck. This is F1 not a spec series. So having the manufacturers’ all trying to produce the same engine is nuts.

      What would be more entertaining is to open the rules up. Any type of engine you want. Limited to this size/weight, 105kg of fuel use, 1000bhp, rwd. Go nuts.

      Use batteries with a fuel generator and 2 electric motors. Use W16 engines. Use turbos. Superchargers. 2 engines etc.

      That’s how it used to be. Racing was interesting. Like when McLaren came up with the F-Duct. F1 should be about smart engineer’s coming up with clever solutions, not trying to do the same as everyone else.

      1. F1 is and will always be about smart engineers coming up with clever solutions as long as there is any room for development. Opening up regulations just means that there are more potential clever solutions to be found. This works against having a close competition as the big teams have more money to find more of them.

        1. Yes and no. We have 2009. Brawn designed under Honda using a Merc engine. The same year had Williams and Toyota also coming out with double diffusers off the bat. Looking strong at the beginning of the year.
          So if Honda had not withdrawn the other 2 might have been the team to beat. Toyota with all the money is gone while Williams remains. If’s and but’s.

          At the moment tight rules favour the money teams. Loser restrictions’ can go either way. Big money teams also play it safe, while smaller teams can take the risk.

          Loosen the engine rules and we may see VW, Fiat, GM, Ford, hell even Tesla come to play.

          1. Should say looser restrictions.

          2. Yeah you’re right, it’s an option of course, I wouldn’t mind seeing a more open formula. Who am I to even pretend to know which way they should take it. I’ve just got a gut instinct (mostly by listening to what they say) but they’ve got the money and the sense to get the research done well and make the hard decisions.

          3. The only reason Toyota ans Williams had the double diffuser because they heard of the developments at Honda. I think Toyota hired a Honda engineer and Williams was using Toyota engines.

      2. Even with the limited rules there are already pretty big differences between the teams. The more free you make the rules the more the teams will spend and the bigger the performance differences = more and more likely that someone gets it right and laps everybody while coasting to the finish.

        Engine is especially the wrong place to make the rules more free. The closer the engines are to each other in performance the better and closer the racing. The better the chances are then to see the midfield teams occasionally challenging for the podiums and even wins. More free rules on the other hand basically means the egnine manufacturers can outspend everybody. When the rules allow little bit of creativity then the engineers need to maximise the performance with ingenuity. Simply throwing money at it won’t help after certain limit.

        If you allow the teams to spend unlimited amounts of money then with the engines for example the engine manufacturers just need to investigate all possible engine combinations. This means building numerous different engines to figure out which one is the fastest. The one who has the most money can afford to build the biggest number of development engines and run several engine programs simultenously to figure out the best option. Maybe even design and build different engines for different races. In the meanwhile everybody else are left with scraps.

        Allowing teams more freedom with the tech rules is always difficult balance. Too much freedom and the wealthy teams and engine manufacturers win everything. Too little and it is spec series. Too much focus on engines and only the engine manufacturer teams can win. Too much focus on aerodynamics and the racing is ruined by dirty air. Different tire manufacturers mean that each tire manufacturer take one team and designs the tires just for that one team. If your team is not one of those teams then you have all the freedom in the world to get lapped in the race.

        1. How is it different from now. Big money at the front and down the scale we go. Opening the engines is the best way to close the gap. Honda is not doing well with this formula, but I hear they can make good performance cars. Let them make the engine that they make best. VW etc won’t come in because they can’t make the specs. Open it and they come bringing others. Have upper restrictions by all means. But bring them in.

  2. Those comments coming from Wolff are disconcerting. The top teams need to be on board with another big rules change, not looking for excuses on why it should stay the same. The rule changes have had meaning, rather than being just about rolling the dice. This year made the cars look more appealing, faster and more aggressive. 2014 made the engines more relevant and worthy of investment for the manufacturers.

    The worst part of all is that he’s right, he has a sound argument. Less rules changes of course would lead over time to the faster teams having less to learn while the slower cars having more opportunity to build on their knowledge and make gains. Now is just not really the time for that argument. Let Brawn have a go at making the rules great first, pointing the sport back to an exciting (reduced aero) and competitive (reduction in areas for development) direction.

    My big question on the new regs is still the loud car noise. Some articles have pointed at it coming back, but how? Back to NA engines? That’s the question that needs to be answered more than anything.

    1. My big question on the new regs is still the loud car noise. () That’s the question that needs to be answered more than anything.

      That’s disconcerting to me; fans prioritising sound over other things.

      1. Well it’s not just the fans, it’s the drivers and event promoters too. F1 seems to be stuck between a rock and a hard place of technology vs spectacle with regards to noise. The sooner they can figure that out the better, if they’re just waiting for a magical loud technology that’s both faster and more efficient than a turbo hybrid… Well maybe that’s what Wolff’s saying, just keep the current regs until something proper is figured out, even if it’s 10 years down the track.

        1. (Lack of) noise is not why Manor folded; we had a fatal accident recently; Alonso races Indy500; or FI/Sauber have an EU complaint :p

          1. Financial structure is separate to technical regulations and not what Wolff is talking about at all; entirely irrelevant; because his car is a dud; that hasn’t publicly moved since its announcement and will probably get quashed/settled once the 2020 restructuring happens (and who even knows how all that works legally post-brexit).

          2. Sorry, I mistook you for somebody who would understand.

          3. Alianora La Canta (@alianora-la-canta)
            8th May 2017, 23:20

            @f1-liners Put it this way: if F1 has gone that far astray with something so small as sound, should we be surprised that it has also been failing to find effective solutions for the problems you faced (and other large problems)?

          4. Alianora La Canta (@alianora-la-canta)
            8th May 2017, 23:20

            * – problems you listed

        2. I am starting to think that the people who miss the extreme noise are trying to compensate for its demise by making a lot of noise about this perceived lack of noise. And they seem to think they speak for the majority of the fans, of which I am not sure. It is human nature to complain loudly when we are dissatisfied about something, but when we don’t have a problem, we seldom shout our contentment from the rooftops.
          So, please, if *you* miss the noise, then that is *your* opinion/taste/religion/… I am just glad that at an F1 race I would now be able to understand you without needing headphones or earpieces when you’re harping on about the lack of noise.

          1. I’m not saying I miss the noise at all (I prefer the quieter experience really.) I’m definitely not one to complain about the lack of noise, you’d be hard pressed to find me doing so. But people are for whatever reason and to say they aren’t is just being blind.

          2. Agree. I had to buy ear protection for the family as our ears hurt when we attended an event before the new regs – the noise was a turnoff for a fan at the event in my view. On TV the extra noise was great. So not sure how they solve it. No one would complain if there was exciting racing, multiple winners and multiple teams (more than Ferrari and Mercedes winning a race)

      2. fans prioritising sound over other things

        Sound is one aspect of the experience of watching a race on TV, another is the amount you paid to actually watch the race. F1 has known for a long time that fans prioritise financial cost to watch the races over the sound.

      3. yes! the sound of an f1 car is simply a byproduct of the engine and exhaust, it should NEVER be a product. the fastest cars of days gone by were loud because of the technology behind them, not because they were designed to be loud.

        The fastest cars with modern technology are not as loud, please get over this and stop pushing for artificial noise making devices.

        Would people prefer that a couple of air horns be glued onto the front wing to generate some noise?

    2. I am fully on board with Toto about not changing the rules as often. The only reason to change IMO is if the engine manufacturers can promise to bring cost down significantly, and still have some scope for development when they take out some of the more costly things in the engine (I understood they themselves aren’t completely happy with the heat recovery systems themselves, as they are costly to build not just to develop.) Tristan.

      As for the sound, I am convinced that it is perfectly fine as is – I will see whether it’s changed from last year in the summer – you can actually be at the track and watch the race without ear plugs, meaning you can follow some of the commentary and discuss things with your friends in the grandstands. On TV, just lobby the TV stations to figure out how to get the sound out better than the job they do now (it is likely capped anyway mostly because of regulations to protect listeners hearing).

  3. Raikkonen deserves better results – Vettel (Autosport)

    “I see exactly what happens and things didn’t go 100% in his direction so far but I don’t think there’s any doubt inside the paddock that he’s one of the most talented drivers we have.”

    Ferrari has two drivers.. Raikkonen and vettel…

    e’s one of the most talented drivers we have

    of course ;)

    1. Fukobayashi (@)
      8th May 2017, 12:00

      It really annoys me how Vettel will say whatever it takes to keep Raikonnen in that car. He knows he clearly has the measure of him and that he is past it, the moment he found a competitive teammate in DR he ran with his tail between his legs despite the fact the RB was the better car in 2015 and 2016.

      1. are you saying that Vettel finished 3rd in 2015 despite having a worse car than the RB drivers?

        1. Yep, that’s what he’s saying. He “ran” to the prancing donkey, to still triple DR’s points in a worse car.

          In reality, Ferrari were better than Red Bull at almost every race in 2015. Dan was also hamstrung with terrible RBR reliability in 2015, like Seb was in 2014. Vettel had achieved everything it was possible to achieve at Red Bull, so went to the Real Madrid of F1, that is currently rivaling Mercedes. He’s won over double the races RBR have in that period. Vettel is probably wagging that tail right now, as if it was his finger.

    2. The question Vettel’s comment brings to mind is what does his contract say about him receiving preferential treatment during a race, and what does Raikkonen’s contract say? As far as I know Ferrari run an unequal driver policy, so there is an expectation he will finish behind Vettel.
      If you set up a person so they fail at the task you’ve given them, and they fail, what have you achieved? You got exactly what you wanted.

  4. “Ja, Hasegawa-San, so, this is a connecting rod. It is connected to the piston at the top using this, a wrist-pin, and at the bottom it’s connected to this, the crankshaft…”

  5. Out of the 23 drivers in that 1996 advert I could only name 15. No resorting to internet-search cheating, please. Here’s my list:
    de Ferran
    R. Gordon
    M. Andretti
    E. Fittipaldi

    1. You’ve done better than I would have. Only one I can add to your list is Greg Moore.

  6. Thanks @keithcollantine for the caption contest win.

    1. A good one @robbie!

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