Ron Dennis has already alluded to the fact that a 'works' style collaboration is the only way forward under the new regulations and in fairness he is accurate in his assessment. Mercedes led the way in 2014 and although Williams kept apace with the Silver Arrows their chances of beating them was always slim. Mercedes HPP power 4 of the teams on the grid, including their own team and so many have questioned why the likes of Williams, Lotus and Force India are unable to challenge for victories. As I've already shown the installation of the powerunit within each of these cars is very different and as a by-product performance is affected in differing ways too, with the 'works' team having the benefit of working with HPP to tailor the package in their direction they have been able to unlock more performance.
Credit to RaceCar Engineering as always as they got the first clear shots of the RA615H: http://www.racecar-engineering.com/cars/mclaren-mp4-30/
The images don't clear up everything but help to paint a clearer picture of the powerunits architecture of which I'll try to cover here.
So where is the compressor?
It appears to be inside the V, it's actual longitudinal location has yet to be ascertained, although ScarbsF1 concluded in a piece for Autosport (http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/118626) that Honda were using an axial flow compressor rather than a traditional centrifugal compressor, which could reduce the diameter of the unit, placing it and the MGU-H at almost the full length of the V.
5.1.6 Pressure charging may only be affected by the use of a sole single stage compressor linked to a sole single stage exhaust turbine by a shaft assembly parallel to the engine crankshaft and within 25mm of the car centre line. The shaft must be designed so as to ensure that the shaft assembly, the compressor and the turbine always rotate about a common axis and the same angular velocity, an electrical motor generator (MGU-H) may be directly coupled to it.
Up until now the location of the MGU-K had remained a mystery with speculation pointing toward its installation in the V. It would appear however that the MGU-K remains in a similar location to what we have become accustomed to, under the left hand cylinder bank (circled above).
As I've already said the pictures still don't tell us everything and the turbo architecture is most puzzling, Honda had already seen what was being used by the others and have instead (seemingly) opted for a different strategy. From an architectural point of view I think we've already seen the best possible installation from Mercedes but is there something to be gained by using un-conventional methods in a fuel limited formula? It seems Honda believe so and I look forward to seeing just how they've achieved their goals when the details emerge. I know many people are eager for me to expand on my thoughts about the turbo but frankly it'd be guesswork at this stage (some of which I have covered above), suffice to say there are many ways to go about it, even with the limiting diameter factor. Everything from an elongated compressor wheel with slots (to prevent stall) to a rotary vane compressor are in play, with many other options in between. As alway, as and when I'm able to I will update you with my findings.