Honda new spec only 20bhp down on Mercedes & Ferrari

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TJ13: This particular story originates from the Italian – they have recently got some things spot on hence the inclusion of this story in today’s Daily News and Comment.

Google Translate: The Japanese engineers are convinced of having brought only about twenty BHP less than Mercedes and Ferrari in the race configuration. A step forward that bodes well at Red Bull and leaves a bitter taste in McLaren’s mouth.

The latest evolution of the Honda power unit, which completed its first full race weekend at Suzuka, confirmed a decisive step forward in terms of performance. The Japanese engineers are carrying out the development of the engine as scheduled, and the third evolution of 2018 has respected the intended designs of the Japanese engineers.

The leap forward was particularly appreciated by Red Bull, which next year will use the Honda power unit, snatching important words from Christian Horner:

“We are impressed by the commitment and determination that Honda has confirmed with the steps forward that are clear to everyone.

“Beyond the current performance, we and Honda share the ultimate goal, which is to return to fight for the highest achievements. What we see today is an excellent basis on which to start work in view of 2019 ”

The Japanese technicians have evaluated the gap that separates them from the Mercedes-Ferrari tandem in a window that goes from one to two percent (as regards the performance in the race), which in power translates into about 20 horses. On the other hand, the gap in qualifying is still greater, a context in which Honda still has no more power than its competitors.

This is now the next target at Sakura’s headquarters, and work is already under way. There should be no further steps in the four races missing at the end of the World Cup, but it is whispering of an evolution that should be brought to the track in the Abu Dhabi tests, the day after the last seasonal Grand Prix.

McLaren’s own goal

If the plans will be respected, and even if the reliability front will end a very challenging run on the Ferrari and Mercedes competition, Red Bull could rightfully enter the fight for the 2019 title. For three years, Honda has received hard criticism from McLaren , and in many cases it was justified judgments. But the divorce arrived at the end of last season, has brought to light other evaluations.

Without the pressures they were subjected in the McLaren period, and with a very good communication born with Toro Rosso technicians, Japanese technicians worked in a climate of greater serenity, being able to commit the necessary errors and learning from them without constantly undergoing trials .

The results have been seen, while at home McLaren have emerged the great limits in the construction of the car, an aspect that probably for years has been hidden more or less deliberately by an uncompetitive power unit. The Honda engine was undoubtedly the last of the group, but the “best chassis” hypothesised by the McLaren technicians and by some British enthusiastic press was not such, as emerged after the transition to the Renault power unit.

Fernando Alonso and the Toyota No.8 car failed to convert pole into race victory at WEC race – the 6 Hours of Fuji.

Claire Williams: “It’s a short short-list. We’re very happy with the drivers we are evaluating and it will not take us a long time to make that final decision. Of course, Esteban is in the mix. We would be crazy not to be looking at him.”

The British outfit recently announced a long-term deal with George Russell. But is yet to name his teammate, giving rise to hopes for the Frenchman.

“This doesn’t enhance our racing budget, this was a decision purely based on the talent we know George has,” Williams said. “This is what this team needs — and this is a message of our intent.

“We need someone who we can build this team around. We need a galvanising force and George is going to be that for us. We wanted someone who would be with us for a number of years and who the team could get behind. That was a big factor in our decision-making.

“It’s really exciting for us to bring in another new talent into Williams. We’re a team renowned for that and this is our first British driver since Jenson [Button]. His racing pedigree speaks for itself. It’s exciting for F1 to have another young talent on board and George is tipped to be a superstar of our sport in years to come.”