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Old 20 Mar 2015, 22:34 (Ref:3517624)   #1
wnut
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McLaren Honda: Can they compete?

McLaren Honda currently and unexpectedly have a huge performance deficit to overcome, can they hope to compete under the "no testing formula", and if they can when will they be competitive?

They have probably blown their biggest chance already.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/formula1/31942251


How would this effect any other manufacturer looking at F1?
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Old 20 Mar 2015, 23:01 (Ref:3517630)   #2
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Can they compete? Yes. Soon? No.

They've got some leeway to change their engine - there are the development tokens and they can change components outside of that for reliability or safety reasons. So theoretically they can make fairly big changes. However, I'm surprised at just how far off the pace they are considering the time they've had to develop and dyno the engine and hybrid bits and bobs. Ok, an installation in a car is different to running on a dyno but they're miles from where they need to be (and should be). This year is a write off - they may as well turn the engines up and just blow them to pieces - at least that way they can make numerous changes on the grounds of reliability, tootling around with the engines turned down is pointless. It's not as if the grid penalties are going to hurt them.
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Old 21 Mar 2015, 00:18 (Ref:3517647)   #3
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They are badly on the backfoot and it'll depend on them maintaining morale in the face of a constant barrage of criticism for an extended period. Internet age also makes criticism especially unrelenting and rigorous.

This year, no. After that maybe. But I'm not entirely confident. Their last stint they had trouble getting things together over a number of years. It's also difficult to see Dennis and Bouliers position as being particularly secure - which might create further instabilities in the relationships between the two partners. I'd say Whitmarsh is quite glad to be on this boat atm.
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Old 21 Mar 2015, 07:04 (Ref:3517683)   #4
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They are badly on the backfoot and it'll depend on them maintaining morale in the face of a constant barrage of criticism for an extended period. Internet age also makes criticism especially unrelenting and rigorous.

This year, no. After that maybe. But I'm not entirely confident. Their last stint they had trouble getting things together over a number of years. It's also difficult to see Dennis and Bouliers position as being particularly secure - which might create further instabilities in the relationships between the two partners. I'd say Whitmarsh is quite glad to be on this boat atm.
I would add to that a lot depends on how....

Patient the Honda board are
Willing McLaren shareholders are to subsidise the F1 team in the face of falling FOM revenue and lack of main sponsor
How willing FA is to wait
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Old 21 Mar 2015, 08:44 (Ref:3517691)   #5
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I must admit that I was very surprised & disappointed at how far off the pace and how unreliable the Honda PSU has turned out to be. I expected them to do better than this and to have ironed out a lot of the problems first found in car testing with the engine on the dyno.
There is a lot said about 'the packaging in the car' but again, in this day & age surely it's not beyond the capabilities of an engineering giant combination of McLaren & Honda to replicate this for a dyno testing environment?
If not, why haven't Honda got the PSU installed in what looks like a sportscar on the outside, but is really a McLaren F1 underneath and have that punding around their test track 24/7 to iron out their problems?
Although it would double their workload it would also halve their development time if they could supply the engines to another team. I can really see the advantages for McLaren/Honda helping solve Manor's financial problems and getting them to run their engines too.
I am sure that McLaren Honda will sort this all out eventually, but only if everyone involved is patient enough to give them the time to do so.
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Old 21 Mar 2015, 10:18 (Ref:3517705)   #6
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I must admit that I was very surprised & disappointed at how far off the pace and how unreliable the Honda PSU has turned out to be. I expected them to do better than this and to have ironed out a lot of the problems first found in car testing with the engine on the dyno.
There is a lot said about 'the packaging in the car' but again, in this day & age surely it's not beyond the capabilities of an engineering giant combination of McLaren & Honda to replicate this for a dyno testing environment?
It would be almost impossible to replicate a racing environment on a test bed. By just the simple virtue of the fact that the power-unit remains in a fixed position in a building means that they have to employ supplementary cooling which they couldn't do on a car on a track. There are other conditions that are also completely dissimilar.


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If not, why haven't Honda got the PSU installed in what looks like a sportscar on the outside, but is really a McLaren F1 underneath and have that punding around their test track 24/7 to iron out their problems?
For the simple reason that the FIA rules and regulations do not permit it. Look at all the problems encountered by Pirelli when they wanted to test tyres. And no matter how much Honda mi98ght have tried to conceal the fact that might have been disguising a F1 car as a sports car, the FIA are not quite that stupid!


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Although it would double their workload it would also halve their development time if they could supply the engines to another team.
I think that they took the decision to work with one partner so that they didn't dilute their efforts by having multiple teams all running with different installation setups. Also, they were probably aware that there was a possibility that initially things might go horribly wrong, as they have, and then their embarrassment would have been compounded. I am certain that they are not happy with themselves in Japan at the moment; this is a huge loss of face for them.

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I can really see the advantages for McLaren/Honda helping solve Manor's financial problems and getting them to run their engines too.
Apart from the above, Honda are not a charity. Why should they go to the aid of a company that had just stiffed their opposition for many millions of dollars.[/quote]

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I am sure that McLaren Honda will sort this all out eventually, but only if everyone involved is patient enough to give them the time to do so.
I am sure they will unless the loss of face is so great that they are forced to beat a hasty retreat, probably to never to return to F1.
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Old 21 Mar 2015, 10:22 (Ref:3517706)   #7
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Hope they get this sorted more quickly than the NR500 bike racer, called the "Never Ready" 500 by bike racing wags.
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Old 21 Mar 2015, 16:21 (Ref:3517882)   #8
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It would be almost impossible to replicate a racing environment on a test bed. By just the simple virtue of the fact that the power-unit remains in a fixed position in a building means that they have to employ supplementary cooling which they couldn't do on a car on a track. There are other conditions that are also completely dissimilar.




For the simple reason that the FIA rules and regulations do not permit it. Look at all the problems encountered by Pirelli when they wanted to test tyres. And no matter how much Honda mi98ght have tried to conceal the fact that might have been disguising a F1 car as a sports car, the FIA are not quite that stupid!




I think that they took the decision to work with one partner so that they didn't dilute their efforts by having multiple teams all running with different installation setups. Also, they were probably aware that there was a possibility that initially things might go horribly wrong, as they have, and then their embarrassment would have been compounded. I am certain that they are not happy with themselves in Japan at the moment; this is a huge loss of face for them.



Apart from the above, Honda are not a charity. Why should they go to the aid of a company that had just stiffed their opposition for many millions of dollars.
Thanks Mike, you seem to have comprehensively answered/trumped my comments there!


I am sure they will unless the loss of face is so great that they are forced to beat a hasty retreat, probably to never to return to F1.[/QUOTE]
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Old 21 Mar 2015, 19:40 (Ref:3518042)   #9
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i think that will never happen, even with some minor excursions into gt racing the f1 programme is the heart of the company and without it they would not really be anything
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Old 22 Mar 2015, 02:40 (Ref:3518225)   #10
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Remember that Honda's engine had to be homologated while the rest of the field did not. Unlike the other teams who have saved tokens to spend throughout the year the Honda engine is locked down except for reliability changes.

I don't like their chances this year.
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Old 22 Mar 2015, 04:40 (Ref:3518260)   #11
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Remember that Honda's engine had to be homologated while the rest of the field did not. Unlike the other teams who have saved tokens to spend throughout the year the Honda engine is locked down except for reliability changes.

I don't like their chances this year.
while that is true, Honda challenged this aspect as being unfair and have been awarded the average unused number of tokens between the teams which is 9. Interestingly, I believe Renault still has the most left at 12, so both PU's should not be written off for the season just yet.
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Old 22 Mar 2015, 08:43 (Ref:3518285)   #12
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It is normal now for every team/engine manufacturer to complain about the advantage everyone else has over them but we can all see the failure of the honda engine to be even close to the other 3 units but they will improve, The ridiculous rules mean that the process will take some time and that just proves that if you introduce silly restrictions the consequences are not always as you expect, F! was once about development of engineering expertise it appears now to be about stunting that development rather than allowing it to flourish
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Old 23 Mar 2015, 21:30 (Ref:3518787)   #13
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Just a quick thought:
Isn't it the TEAMS they need to limit their spending, rather than the engine manufacturers?

I can't stand this engine freeze rubbish. We already have the teams handcuffed with their chassis designs as it is.

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Old 23 Mar 2015, 22:09 (Ref:3518799)   #14
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Just a quick thought:
Isn't it the TEAMS they need to limit their spending, rather than the engine manufacturers?

Selby
It's not quite that simple, is it though? Not talking specific amounts, but the current power-units are costing the teams approximately 3 times as much as the previous V8s, and I believe that Mercedes and Renault have stated publicly that the amount that they are paid by the teams do not cover even the basic cost, let alone realise a profit.

This is what happens when you let engineers write the rules; they never take cost into account.
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Old 23 Mar 2015, 22:44 (Ref:3518808)   #15
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This is what happens when you let engineers write the rules; they never take cost into account.
Remember that when you buy your next road car Mike;

"Hybrid - the massive cost of economy!"





Let's look at the economics:

Running 20 races,

cars of 1970s used 180 litres of fuel per race.
Hybrid 2015 cars use 100 litres.

Cost per litre $ 2.00

Savings $160 per race times 20 races equals $3200 per season

Cost of running 70s engine $5million (probably high **gainst $15million for 2015 engine hence extra cost $10million per season.

Cost increase $10 000 000
Less savings ($ 3 200)
---------------
Extra cost/ car. season $ 9 996 800

Ah, Sir you have to pay for economy!


Hand up, who is off to buy a Hybrid!

Last edited by wnut; 23 Mar 2015 at 22:50.
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