Honda off to slow start with Abu Dhabi test

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If you were hoping that Honda would re-enter Formula 1 as an engine supplier and really change the game with an out-of-the-box competitive package, you might be a little disheartened by today’s news from AUTOSPORT.

Yasuhisa Arai, chief officer of motorsport at Honda R&D, said that the first test at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi has gone very slow and they have experienced teething pains just like Renualt, Ferrari and Mercedes did when they launched their new hybrid power units a year ago.

McLaren test driver, Stoffel Vandoorne, completed three un-timed laps before parking the car. The team said they experienced a fuel/data exchange issue that stranded the car on track. The good news is that this specification is far from what will hit the track in 2015 so fingers crossed. Arai said:

“This week’s test is really all about performing some fundamental systems checks on the engine before we begin testing in earnest next February,” he said.

“When I was at Jerez earlier this year, I noticed just how many issues the teams faced in readying these turbo engines, so we really wanted to get those initial checks under our belts before winter testing starts in 2015.”

Arai says that they are making good progress and there are a few more steps coming before Australia in 2015. What I am keen to see if how McLaren can work with Honda to prevent any major teething issues having spent a year needing and tweaking their Mercedes power unit through several software iterations, fuel-flow systems and more.

I can’t help but think that McLaren learned a lot during this year and Honda as well, working with the Mercedes lump. Wonder how that might play into reliability etc in 2015?


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