Honda looking for big gains from token spend

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If you’re wondering who may have made the biggest gains from 2014 to now, AUTOSPORT has a nice chart in which they plainly did the math(s) and came up with Manor first, then McLaren. That’s probably no surprise for Manor to make a serious jump this year as they are being shoved down the track by a Mercedes power unit these days but perhaps McLaren is more of an interesting story.

The fact is, McLaren are progressing and Honda is keen to use its remaining token intelligently this season according to Honda motorsport chief Yusuke Hasegawa:

“Of course we keep developing, we just have to decide when we can expect to introduce the new technology or tokens,” Hasegawa said.

“We have some tokens, but it’s still limited and we don’t want to use them for tiny steps, from a tactical point of view.

“We’d like to use tokens effectively rather than gradually.

“We need to see the exact result of the development. I hope it is a big step forward.

“I heard some of the items are very promising but before we get it I don’t know the exact benefit.

“The ICE [combustion engine] and ERS are being focused on.”

One of the talking points from Russia was the fuel conservation Honda had to do as the engine seemed to be thirsty…at least more so than Mercedes or Ferrari’s engine.

One would presume the ICE is a focus on fuel efficiency and the ERS would add a lot to the overall efficiency and fuel use issues. The updates have both Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso speaking positively about the near future.

Let’s be honest, a competitive McLaren would be terrific! A team with a custom engine supply by Honda and the facilities of Woking fighting with Ferrari and Mercedes for podiums would be outstanding. Right now they are running mid-field so they have a lot of ground to make up and covering this much of a gap during the season would be a big ask of the team.

If McLaren doesn’t catch up in 2016, there are the 2017 proposed regulation changes that will stir everything up again so let’s hope they don’t get caught out by those changes should they come to fruition. The proposed changes would eliminate the token spend system so the team may be able to make immediate changes as needed and I’m sure that’s a welcome thing inside Woking.

Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT

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Fred Talmadge

If the tokens are to keep the costs down, then at least in Honda’s case it is not.

Shocks&Awe

It’s possible it actually increases cost, since you can’t test the engine on the car without “using” your tokens, you probably have to do more and different kinds of testing on the dyno or other mechanism. Maybe that’s cheaper. But maybe not…

MIE

Gary Anderson’s analysis looks at the fastest lap for a team over the entire race weekend. Normally that will happen in qualifying, or in a qualifying simulation during free practice if it rains lunchtime on Saturday. As Pirelli are bringing softer tyres to most of the races this year than last (Sochi being the only exception so far), perhaps this analysis is showing which teams adapt best to the softer tyres? What it does seem to indicate is that the power unit is not really the dominant factor (Mercedes powering the first, third, fifth and eleventh placed teams) as all… Read more »

Esteban Muller

The PU is still the dominant factor, if you have more power you can run more downforce for faster cornering and still be competitive in the speed traps.

MIE

Mercedes must have the worst engine out there then, as a Mercedes powered team is at the bottom of the pile, and Honda are better than Renault and Ferrari as they are ahead of teams powered by those manufacturers. :-)

No I don’t believe that statement either, but it does seem to indicate that the chassis is at least as significant in the overall performance. Toro Rosso (who changed from the supposedly poor performing Renault in 2015, to the much better Ferrari this season) haven’t really changed their position in the pecking order.

Peter Riva

Stop the fuel miser allocation – let them race.

Jamie Huntoon

Sorry, that would just make too much sense.

Joe Mama

Agreed. Fuel restrictions force energy efficiency. Efficiency kills noise, since noise is really just wasted energy going out the tailpipe. Achieving efficiency at high power is also an elusive beast that constantly thrwarts parity as the teams struggle for total system balance with limited testing.

Answer – do away with fuel restrictions and bring the fun back.

Maybe it’s just too obvious for them to see.

GenGlenn

Here’s an interesting development from Honda using un-equal cylinder displacement to increase the fuel-saving options in terms of turning combinations of cylinders on/off

http://www.autoblog.com/2016/05/09/honda-patents-engine-different-cylinder-displacements/

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