You’ll forgive me if I am slightly reticent of Honda’s newest claim to be on par with Mercedes in their ERS portion of the McLaren power unit. It’ not that making it into Q3 in three of the last four races hasn’t been a welcome and positive move forward, it’s just that we’ve heard these claims in the past without results to back them up.
It’s true that those multiple boasts of being on par with Ferrari were made by the former Honda F1 boss and that these new claims are from Honda F1 chief Yusuke Hasagawa but I am still a little hesitant to go all-in on this claim of parity with Mercedes.
“From an energy recovery system point of view, we have already achieved our target, which is already on Mercedes level,” Honda F1 chief Yusuke Hasagawa said.
“Our recovery system’s performance is not very different to the top teams, I am very confident about that.
“The energy recovery has already doubled from last year and is achieving at the top level.
“I can’t tell if it is better than others, but it’s reasonable to say it’s a very even area.
“It is incredible we have achieved that in two to three years, where others have taken seven to eight years.”
There is no doubt that I want this to be true and even though I am a Ferrari fan, McLaren is hugely important to me when considering the ingredient list of how to bake the perfect Formula 1 cake. I’m very happy for Mercedes and their recent domination of the sport but teams like Red Bull, McLaren and Williams are vitally important in the F1 recipe. These privateers are essential ingredients and while Mercedes and Ferrari may be the flour and water, I would argue that these garagistas are the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and icing without whom our F1 cake would be a doughy mess.
Honda has 12 tokens left for development this season and are keen to add upgrades to their ICE (internal combustion engine). This is good. Having listened to the Honda/McLaren car these last two USGP’s in Austin, they sound different than any other car on the grid. More visceral, more guttural and I like it!
“There is always some room to improve, but definitely we need to concentrate more on the internal combustion engine performance,” Hasegawa said.
“We don’t have enough performance in an update [yet] so we can’t introduce it.
“In some of the individual experimental tests we see some of the benefits, but we can’t prove it as a complete engine.”
“We don’t have enough time to change everything – we don’t have enough tokens – so we will just introduce some of the additive parts.”
No doubt the componentry of a current F1 power unit makes this upgrading process complicated but as we move toward 2017, I think the developments are essential and even though we may have a doughy mess right now, let us hope that the cake can really improve for next year with McLaren finally delivering the icing, if not the heat, needed to delight our racing palettes. Yes, F1 has bread but…”Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.”
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT