Listen to the 2015 Honda F1 engine
Honda is re-entering F1, but not until 2015. Which means it’s in no hurry to get an engine out the door, right? Wrong: and to prove it’s not hanging about, the company has released audio of the new F1 engine it already has on the dyno.
The 1.6-litre V6 turbo motor can be heard being extended to full revs too; it’s not just a mere fire-up and idle test, this. Such considerable progress so early in the day suggests Honda is really taking its F1 engine supplier re-entry with McLaren seriously. It clearly wants to once again be a combined force to be reckoned with.
Which will be music to the ears of McLaren, currently suffering a truly dreadful season thanks to a substandard car. That Honda is beavering away furiously already means it focus even more strongly on the 2015 car that will house it.
Pleasingly for its designers, McLaren may also have more input into the engine design itself than it’s had for years – the deal is much more than a mere engine supply deal, and more along the lines of the integration McLaren used to enjoy with Mercedes-Benz, before the two split and the Mercedes-AMG F1 team was created. And, you’ll note, McLaren’s pace started to ebb back…
It does mean 2014 risks being a holding season, mind: McLaren’s contract with Mercedes-AMG means it’ll be using a V6 turbo from Brackley for one year only. Surely, with Honda already now working on its own rival unit, Merc won’t want to be giving too much away to McLaren? Could this even restrict the amount of support McLaren now gets from its engine supplier?
It’s a tricky one: both operations are highly professional but you still wonder how this competitive risk will be managed.
Oh, and we can also bring you an early V6 turbo triple test, of sorts: compare Honda’s new motor to the Mercedes-AMG F1 engine and the Renault F1 engine. Bernie has long been worried these engines won’t sound right: do you think he can now rest easy?