Happy Honda 'calm' after leaving McLaren

Published on 09 Mar 2018 09:06

Honda is feeling more "calm" after leaving McLaren. That is the claim of sources close to the Japanese manufacturer, as Honda appears to thrive at Toro Rosso and McLaren now struggles with Renault power.

Asked if Honda is happy with its flawless winter testing performance with Toro Rosso, Japanese journalist Kaz Kawai told Marca sports newspaper: "Of course they are happy. But it's not about seeing McLaren with problems but because they are going faster with a very similar engine. So the power unit is good and its reliable, which is why they're happy," he said.

"Honda did not like breaking with McLaren, who have continued to criticise them, but it is how it is. Now they are more calm and satisfied that their engine is good and it will improve more," Kawai added. Another Japanese journalist, Tsuyoshi Fukue, continued: "They (Honda) say it's easier to work with Toro Rosso."

That may be due in part to team boss Franz Tost, who knows Honda well after working closely with Ralf Schumacher during his Japanese racing career in the 90s. Tost is quoted by AS newspaper: "We are very happy with Honda."

"I am sure they will offer us a very competitive package, that during the season we will advance a lot and for the final part we will have a very competitive car. Our goal is to be at the front of the middle zone. I don't care about McLaren, but I am sure that, in the end, we will have a more competitive package than theirs," Tost added.

Replies (12)
Posts: 999
Honda rotated 3 engines on their first test followed by 1 engine during the second week of testing. If that is indeed true than they have their reliability under control and that's something they haven't been able to do over the mcLaren period.

Looks like Honda is on the up.
SE calle.itw 09 Mar 2018 15:320
Posts: 5891
Interesting. Sources, and do we have enginedata from rivals to compare it to?
Posts: 140
They can collect approximation of engine power and drag coefficients just by measuring acceleration of competitor cars. Then it is just about guessing engine mode for each lap from delivered power output estimates.
Posts: 999
Source: James key during interview with Sky.
SE calle.itw 09 Mar 2018 19:270
Posts: 5891
Actually, from the sound of Sky's test summary, they used 3 in total, and all three were circulated during these 2 weeks. Either way, I must admit it says very little without proper context, as in how many did the rest use? Just one during the entire testing, or did they circulate units aswell?
US ajpennypacker 09 Mar 2018 20:180
Posts: 1508
I'm getting kind of tired of all the conjectures about the Honda-McLaren relationship.
*The Honda engine was a dog, that's a fact. Unreliable and poor performance.
*McLaren may or may not have been a difficult partner, but that's largely irrelevant to the quality of the engine Honda delivered.
*Furthermore, the fact that in 3 years the engine was still having similar unreliability/underperformance made the situation unsustainable.
* Honda sorted out the reliability issues and seems to have produced a pretty good engine. Good for them.
* Both McLaren and Honda justifiably try to save face by mildly blaming each other
* Tost is gloating because he's trying to rally the troops and because he came out looking like a damn genius, when in reality it was an absolute gamble.
* McLaren's reliability made headlines, but none of those issues were of real concern long term. The only real problem as the seeming lack of performance. However, the last day of testing and the 1:17 Fernando posted at least showed some potential.
SE calle.itw 09 Mar 2018 20:340
Posts: 5891
Thats all very well. HOWEVER, and here is our shrimp: all of these years, Honda were solely blamed for this relationship failing. McLaren paid a pretty penny to ditch Honda, went with Renault and said everything was golden and they werent affected by the late switch, while STR were more catiously optimistic. So far, McLaren, a renowned team, has struggled more with Renault, the "better option", than STR has done with Honda, the partner they ditched. If it now turns out that McLaren could've contributed to the infamous Honda reliability... Well... While you all know that Im a very gracious person, even I would be grinning until I become the next Joker.

I agree that the testing results and woes should be taken with a grain of salt, but this is what I grab from it: those extra inlets McLaren made, show that something is going on. I agree Alonso's laptime looked good, but laptimes this early arent really representative.
US mcbhargav 09 Mar 2018 21:33+2
Posts: 796
Apparently, divorce by McLaren might be the much needed kick in butt, Honda needed. Toro Rosso is trying to take some credit for the outcome of a gamble they had no control on.
Posts: 268
Agree with everything you said, though it seems McLaren contributed a lot to Honda's reliability.
They are the team with most Renault engine failures as well. Let us all keep that in mind.
They are seemingly doing something that puts a lot of stress to a engine they are using irrelevant of the brand.
SE calle.itw 10 Mar 2018 08:510
Posts: 5891
What made me react wasnt necessarily the amount of problems, but the fact that McLaren reacted to them. Those extra cooling vents really seem to indicate that they know they have some kind of issue with overheating, and needed a quick fix against it.
Posts: 625
Fun fact: Red Bull’s first test with Renault power 3-4 years ago resulted in extra cooling slots being hacked in engine cover. McLarens first test with Renault power last 2 weeks resulted in extra cooling slots being hacked into engine cover.

Common denominator? Peter Prodoumo.
Posts: 140
RB is also working towards smaller inlets and cooling elements. RB seems to have found the working solution while McLaren went a little too far with a new design and PU. I suspect they could have had better testing with a bit larger tolerances added to their cooling requirements for the first testing. But it is hard problem to get all tolerance just large enough to work without impacting performance too much.

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