Spa failures for Mercedes and Ferrari "surprised" Honda

Honda Formula 1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe was surprised to see Mercedes and Ferrari suffer immediate failures on upgraded engines given their track record is so strong.

Spa failures for Mercedes and Ferrari "surprised" Honda

Two of the six new-spec Mercedes engines used at the Belgian Grand Prix were hit with problems, as Sergio Perez’s Racing Point came to a fiery halt in practice and Robert Kubica had a spectacular failure in his Williams.

Ferrari gave both Haas cars and Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo an upgraded engine ahead of fitting the new spec to its works cars this weekend in Italy, and Giovinazzi suffered a failure in qualifying.

Read Also:

Honda has spent years trying to improve its reliability since rejoining the F1 grid in 2015 and had many high-profile problems with McLaren, while Mercedes and Ferrari have excellent track records in the V6 turbo-hybrid era.

Tanabe told Motorsport.com: “I’m surprised, for two reasons. One, their reliability showed in the past, and also this year. We can only use three engines per year, so they must run more than 5,000km.

“They have a lot of experience of how to guarantee the mileage and the reliability using dyno endurance tests.

"The new spec, of course, passed that durability test in the factory, then the engine came [to the track] and had trouble. That is one question and also [why I am] surprised.

“The other is quality control: they supply two or three teams for a long time, they know how to control the quality, how to check it before they ship [to races].”

Honda is still trying to catch Mercedes and Ferrari and has introduced one more upgraded than its rivals this season.

Unlike those two manufacturers, and Renault, Honda does not have a works/customer team split.

Though Red Bull is its de-facto lead entry, Honda treats the senior team and its junior outfit Toro Rosso equally.

Mercedes tends to roll out engines across its works and customer teams at the same time, although Ferrari has traditionally let Haas and Alfa have first use before following one race later.

Tanabe said: “When we introduced the Spec 3 trackside last year, we had some calibration issues.

“We learned from that and tried to make a high-quality calibration for trackside.

“Your own team is important, so you can try something with the customer teams, how the new spec behaves at the track, and then optimise the calibration and later you introduce the engine to your team.

“Ferrari has a mature calibration or they know how to use the engine at the track efficiently, so immediately it performs well. That’s one of the ideas of using the customer teams.

“But at the same time, maybe you think ‘we are perfect, we can apply the engines [on all teams at the same time].”

Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso STR14, leads Alex Albon, Red Bull RB15

Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso STR14, leads Alex Albon, Red Bull RB15

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Sutton Images

shares
comments
Alonso to attend Italian GP with McLaren

Previous article

Alonso to attend Italian GP with McLaren

Next article

Leclerc "feels ready" to be F1 title contender

Leclerc "feels ready" to be F1 title contender
Load comments
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Prime

Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Prime

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of "glory" if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1's other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021
How Formula 1 has made itself unattractive to new teams Prime

How Formula 1 has made itself unattractive to new teams

OPINION: The Formula 1 cost cap has been billed as a saviour to several teams and helped to guarantee their viability for investors. But there already exists another mechanism that effectively had the same purpose, and serves as a strong deterrent for those with the means to go it alone in setting up a new team

Formula 1
Sep 10, 2021
How Schumacher's first year marked him out as F1's king in-waiting Prime

How Schumacher's first year marked him out as F1's king in-waiting

After his sparkling F1 debut with Jordan at Spa, Michael Schumacher quickly leapt to Benetton for the 1991 Italian Grand Prix. This move paved the way for the German to win his first grand prix one year later and laid the foundations for his ascent to become a title contender by 1994.

Formula 1
Sep 10, 2021