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1 Oct 2014

Using the Japanese GP as a springboard (and why wouldn't you) Honda have released the first image of their 2015 Powerunit.  They've also provided some information on their progress and how the new powerunits work in general on their website: http://world.honda.com/news/2014/c141001Formula1-Power-Unit/index.html?from=r

So what can we learn from the image provided by Honda?  Well, probably very little, as with the other engine manufacturers did prior to 2014 I don't see any reason for Honda to supply an actual image of their PU ahead of schedule.  This would simply provide their competitors with a glimpe, all be it small but nevertheless insightful as to their direction.

As I posted the image up on my Twitter timeline first this morning the initial reaction was one of "That looks like the Mercedes PU".  Coming to the party a year late has given Honda a glimpse of what everyone else has done before them and so they can use that and place it in their own Powerunits architecture.  Furthermore, as the Powerunits have specific dimensions mandated by the FIA especially in terms of their mounting (this was done initially so that teams could switch easily from one supplier to another) outwardly the PU's all look very similar.

IF the image were to be representative we could conclude that they may have chosen to run the split Turbo configuration used by Mercedes this season, with the Turbine at the rear and compressor at the front of the ICE with the MGU-H running between the V.  However I'd suggest that the design is more of a halfway house between the Mercedes and Ferrari, as the former place the Turbo much lower in the V.  The height of the turbo in relation to the V may indicate, like Ferrari that the compressor lies within the V putting less emphasis on the strength of the shaft that connects the two, and the design of the MGU-H that resides between them.

The airbox snorkel also makes up the ballistic shielding for the turbo, hiding where it joins to the compressor and the inlet layout from prying eyes.  Whilst in a similar vein to Renault's mockup the exhausts are shown encased in a carbon shroud closely aligned to the exterior of the ICE.  No wastegate(s) are visible either just as we saw with the other mockups.

As we know Powerunit architecture is not only important in terms of producing power but also have ramifications to the packaging of ancillary components, whilst aero design must also be considered.  It's therefore of no surprise that Honda have decided to base their operations in Milton Keynes, not far from the team they'll supply, allowing ease of communication on the project.  Honda's arrival a year later into a new regulation run can be seen as both a good and bad thing, with the other 3 manufacturers having huge quantities of real world data to work with.  Meanwhile it has afforded Honda a glimpse into the direction that would serve them best, with a fresh sheet of paper to design their Powerunit whilst the rest may only change 48% of theirs for 2015.

I look forward to the re-emergence of Honda within F1 and hope that the successful partnership they once shared with McLaren can re-ignite their challenge too.
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3 comments:

  1. What do you think of those rumours according to which Honda are lagging behind the others with the development of the new power unit in terms of performance and fuel consumption?

    ReplyDelete
  2. hello

    merc have a advantage due to the split turbo configuration. Could it be that Merc applies a complete split meaning that compressor and turbo are not on the same shaft?

    this would mean two electrical devices instead of one: one electric motor for the compressor to built up pressure and one alternator to gain eletrical power for the batteries.
    of course this means for weight.

    but on the other hand you both devices are independent and you have less inerta so you can built up the pressure faster. you don't need to speed up the host turbine.

    Just an idea ..

    Kind regards

    Artur Barczewski

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice post which shared a great knowledge about Honda are Back and is really appreciable. Need more blogs like this.

    ReplyDelete

Whilst I'm trying to keep atop of the blog you may have noticed of late that there is less content appearing. For those of you that haven't realised, most of my work has now been moved over to Motorsport.com where I'm working with Giorgio Piola.

I'm still doing the technical image gallery for each GP with the continued support of friend of the site Sutton Images. However, as always my time is limited and so this might not be updated as quickly as it once was, so keep checking back.

As some of you may have found out already I'm also working with the Missed Apex crew on their podcast from time-to-time, either doing race reviews or dedicated 'Tech Time' shows.

I've embedded the latest version of the podcast below and will update this a frequently as I appear. However, please head over to Itunes if you want it to appear in your player when episodes are available. The show is great to work on and has a great lineup of 'regulars' but has also enticed some bigger names recently too, with Will Buxton and Bradley Philpot on shows during the summer break.


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