Honda better than Renault

To be fair, it is probably one metric that all Formula 1 engine manufacturers use to determine their level of competitiveness. How many horsepower are we ahead or behind our rivals?

Honda had trumpeted their newly developed reiteration of the 2015 power unit for the Belgian GP but it failed to impress. Perhaps we could ascribe some of that lack of pace to the nature of the circuit as it tends to reward the high power cars but regardless, Honda’s head of motorsport, Yasuhisa Arai, was suggesting the new engine would be on par with Ferrari. He’s walking that back now but hey, at least they are better than Renault:

“Our engine is a little bit behind Ferrari but much better than the Renault team. Mercedes are still so far away.

“But I have confidence that the second half of the season, we will try hard to catch the top two teams.

“It may be that it will be difficult to catch the top teams as they have good reliability and good combustion characteristics.

“But I want to be close to the top teams by the end of the season.”

You wouldn’t know that by Renault’s performance at Spa Francorchamps versus McLaren’s but then how does one actually know how many horsepower Honda is below or above anyone else? Sure, being in the business and having experience may help here but for fans at home, Honda appears to be off the pace of everyone.

Is it the McLaren chassis that is holding back this Renault-busting Honda power unit? Is that the implication? Or is it simply hope evading reality?


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Junipero Mariano

Over the season, Honda’s made a lot of claims like “on par with Ferrari” and “we’ll be competitive by Spain”that have not panned out at all. I’d have to say to Mr. Arai, I’ll believe it when I see it.


“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

Negative Camber

It’s got to be difficult to be under this much pressure. You want to give folks some benchmarks of progress but if you don’t meet them, pressure gets worse. Tough situation.


There’s the problem, you don’t set firm goals when a project is failing! Be vague!

“Well I expect 4th quarter earnings to improve more than the previous quarters but not more than upcoming ones.”

Jimmy Wallace

I think the trap times on Kemmel would suggest otherwise…

Paul KieferJr

Better than Renault, Honda? Really? Exactly which end of the grid are you located? Thought so. No room to talk there. :-P


Looks like McLaren’s chassis hasn’t been good since 2012 if that’s the case with both a Merc and Honda engine in the back

Gary Samoluk

Honda better then Renault? When Porsche was in Indy car racing they used acoustics to measure horsepower and it was well known up and down pit lane that Porsche had the most horsepower. But how you measure all the kers horsepower is another question. I can’t believe the McLaren chassis would be that bad to effect the performance at Spa.

Joe Mama

In the opinion of this particular mental F1 fan – as Honda improves, they are in danger of exposing the McLaren chassis as the same non-competitive garbage it was with a Merc engine in it. As much as I wanted it, the vague prospect of McHonda resurgence was always false…the numbers just didn’t add up. I’m pretty sure trashing Renault at this point is the last desperate act of a team completely lost and wishing dearly for a credible scapegoat. if they don’t meet an expectation soon, I don’t think I can watch the carnage any more out of sheer… Read more »


The McLaren chassis was never a Red Bull, but it was also never the dog you claim it to be.

Joe Mama

I concede that point without rebuttal. It’s more accurate to say that they couldn’t touch Mercedes using Mercedes engines, so the promise of doing so with (approximately) the same chassis and an out-of-practice Honda (or even a spot-on Honda) engine was always long odds.


This is why McLaren have said the only way to win is to have a works/exclusive engine deal.

Jamie Huntoon

Me think Arai been hitting the Sake.


Lol Honda better Renault ahahah and i’m santa!


hmmmm is this a case of Honda trying a “look over there it’s a shiny thing”. From the outside it is really difficult to tell what is really going on. All I know is that both teams eyes must be smarting as this season has been a right kick in the B**LS for them


It may be correct that the Honda engine (ICE) is more powerful than the Renault, however their energy recovery system is way behind the others. McLaren were running out of stored energy halfway down the Kemmel straight at Spa. The MGU-H is particularly poor at recovering energy from what I have read. The end result is that they are losing 160bhp over most of the lap.

Negative Camber

And that may very well be the case. In essence, he may be right technically speaking but as it is, the sport’s engines are confusing enough for fans and making statements on the vague elements of the engine only clouds the issue.


I agree Todd. F1 as a whole has not done a very good job about explaining the new Power Units. Why is it that Mercedes or Ferrari customers cannot compete with the works teams?, Why did the cars sound so bad during winter testing last year (and the Honda still does)? How do these new Power Units compare to the last generation of 1.5 litre turbo engines?