Honda refute claims their 2016 F1 power unit is unreliable

dennis and arai

Honda have refuted stories emanating in the Spanish media yesterday which suggested their reliability nightmare was set to continue. Claims that the Japanese 2016 F1 power unit has made a dramatic step forward in performance were countered by reports that it was failing to complete GP distances on the dyno.

Today, a spokeswoman for Honda tells Motorsport.com, “Reports on Honda’s power unit performance and reliability are unfounded and speculative, and we ask fans and media alike to treat them as such.”

The Japanese manufacturer have been bullish about their redesigned F1 PU claiming they have solved the lack of electrical power problem which plagued them throughout the 2015 season. This was nowhere more evident than when the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson eased past Fernando Alonso into Turn 1 during the early laps of the Japanese GP. “It feels like GP2. Embarrassing. Very embarrassing. I’ll do my best…”, lamented Alonso on the car to pit radio.

Despite today’s rebuttal, Honda are not so bullish about what will happen at the Barcelona winter test starting on Monday. “We will not know exactly where we stand until we finish the eight days of testing in Barcelona,” said their spokesperson. “So until then we have no further information. We are looking forward to getting back on the track.”

McLaren fans and those neutral observers of the sport will be desperate to see a resurgence in the Woking team’s fortunes this year. Whilst McLaren are unlikely to challenge the top teams from 2015, it will surely be a concern for Red Bull and Force India that the former world champions may be racing once again with them both in the midfield.

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5 responses to “Honda refute claims their 2016 F1 power unit is unreliable

  1. Tbh the whole point of running Power Units on the dyno is to identify reliability problems so you can try solve them before you hit the track. Which usually throws up it’s own problems. Honda is taking a cautious approach this time around to keep expectations low, they’ve learned from the hyperbole they spun last season it seems. It shouldn’t be a surprise if Honda do have reliability problems, these PU’s are complex pieces of engineering to get right. I’d expect Honda to at least leap frog Renault and get close to Ferrari by the end of the season.

    As for the 2016 PU it sounds like Honda are happy with the progress they’ve made, though anxiety about how it goes on the track, which is to be expected. There is little point in running the 2015 PU with 2016 components as that will just waste time. What McLaren Honda can do is run a 2015 PU to collect data to compare it with the 2016 PU. But they’ve probably already got that data. The PU Honda start the season with will be different by the end of the season with token upgrades and reliability fixes. If Honda can pull it’s design philosophy off, then we might get a battle between McLaren Honda and Mercedes that livens things up. But at this stage that’s wishful thinking.

    • In truth you said pretty much the same thing at the end of 2014, it’s now the start of the 2016 season and you’re still saying the same things.

      So when will that battle be, this season or in 2018 when the new rules comes into effect?

      • I am saying the same things because it’s what Honda have to do – Follow it’s development programme to the bitter end and hope it leads to a competitive Power Unit coupled with a McLaren chassis that’s good enough to win.

        I did add the line wishful thinking as it’s hard to predict exactly when/if Honda will get there with it’s power unit. Rules mean bugger all if you don’t make the most of them. Mercedes have done so with the current rules and will probably do the same again in 2018 unless they wonder down a garden path and get lost in the thickets of failure.

        As far as 2018 goes ? It’s far from clear what those rules will be exactly. Honda could have tucked it’s tail between it’s legs, paid off McLaren to end it’s contract early and left the sport.

        It seems F1 technical have somebody posting with sources within Honda.

  2. I must say I am not that desperate to see a competitive McLaren, they can stay at the back of the grid for the next 4-5 years.

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