Honda no longer losing time to "clean-up" work

Honda's improved reliability in Formula 1 has allowed it to invest more time in performance development instead of being distracted by "clean-up" work finding fixes to problems.

Honda no longer losing time to "clean-up" work

The Japanese manufacturer's first year with Red Bull included three wins, two pole positions and a full season without a retirement caused by an engine problem.

Though Honda still needs to prove it can complete a full year penalty-free, as Red Bull used extra engines this year to facilitate its partner bringing more upgrades to catch Ferrari and Mercedes, its gains in reliability and performance made it a much more serious competitive prospect in 2019.

Honda's collaboration with Red Bull began last year when Honda supplied the company's junior team Toro Rosso, but a full year with the senior team has highlighted extra benefits of its improved reliability and given more insight into where must devote further effort.

"I believe we have learned what is a priority for qualifying, or how to win the race," Honda's F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe told Motorsport.com.

"I'm asking Sakura on the Japan side to focus on some key points to improve. We learned a lot.

"On the other hand, reliability is not perfect enough this year, but our reliability is getting much better since last year. It means we can develop positive items, not a countermeasure test or bench test.

"We spent a lot of time on something that was a clean-up test [before].

"Now we can put more time to improve our performance. Then we can think about the more detail with each area."

Read Also:

Honda's performance targets are set by a collaboration between its trackside and research-and-development teams, plus consultation with Red Bull's chiefs and its drivers.

It will keep a "very similar" engine concept for 2020, owing to the stable nature of the technical regulations.

Red Bull's status as a race-winning team meant this season represented Honda's best chance of success since returning to F1 and Tanabe is delighted Honda was able to make the most of that chance, by scoring its first podium of the V6 turbo-hybrid era and ending a win drought stretching back to 2006.

"We could show our improvement – good positive progress this year, not only Red Bull but also Toro Rosso," said Tanabe.

"It was very nice for all the people working for this project and people in Honda. So I want to keep this momentum for next year.

"We need to push more to achieve our goal [of fighting for the championship]."

shares
comments
How Sainz's "Smooth Operator" running joke came about

Previous article

How Sainz's "Smooth Operator" running joke came about

Next article

The year Leclerc fully revealed his star status

The year Leclerc fully revealed his star status
Load comments
How the pitstop rules change has left F1 teams scrambling Prime

How the pitstop rules change has left F1 teams scrambling

The technical directive issued by Formula 1 to reduce levels of automation in pitstops has given teams an unwelcome period of adjustment. Although safety was the primary goal, it has already had a significant impact on the title race and puts extra pressure on teams to deliver as the season reaches the business end

How the pandemic is continuing to bite F1 Prime

How the pandemic is continuing to bite F1

Uncertainty over the shape of the calendar doesn’t just vex the fans and the commercial rights holder. MARK GALLAGHER explains at how race promoters have been pushed to the financial brink

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2021
The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race Prime

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2021
Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021