Honda logo, Mclaren, Bahrain International Circuit, 2017

Honda will use current engine as back-up for 2018

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Honda will retain its current F1 power unit design as a fallback option in case it hits trouble with its new engine at the start of 2018.

Join RaceFans on Facebook

Don't miss anything from RaceFans - join us on Facebook here to see whenever a new article has been added:

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Comment of the day

Daniel Ricciardo out-scored Max Verstappen this year but his junior team mate out-performed him in other areas. How will this engrossing battle develop in their second full season together next year?

I think a lot of Verstappen’s overtakes over his career have been very good, but he has very often had to rely on other drivers giving him space. Everybody praised his overtake on Ericsson in China 2015 when I think Ericsson had all the right to do keep doing what he did and he suddenly had to jolt left to allow Verstappen through. That could have gone horribly wrong and I think it will have been Verstappen to blame if it did as he did lunge down the inside. And sometimes, his overtakes or defending sometimes do go wrong such as in Hungary and Italy.

I think Ricciardo has just been a bit more cautious than he needed to be this year. I think he has got the pace to match Verstappen. But I don’t know what has happened in qualifying. But Ricciardo’s overtakes seem more solid to me. They virtually never go wrong and many do think he is about the best overtaker on the grid. If Red Bull is stronger next year, I think these two will be more closely matched.
Ben Rowe (@Thegianthogweed)

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Alvink and Bryce Metzger!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

  • Jim Clark took what turned out to be the final world championship pole position of his career today in 1967

December on F1 Fanatic

A selection of F1 Fanatic’s top reads from last month which you might have missed:

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories F1 Fanatic round-upTags

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 70 comments on “Honda will use current engine as back-up for 2018”

    1. That’s a hell of a backup

      1. They should use the 2016 engine, not last year’s.

      2. @fer-no65 :-)
        @toiago +1 to both of you

      3. Haha. They don’t make any sense do they, hopelessly optimistic.

      4. The problem isn’t the backup, the problem is the “We haven’t decided next year’s complete specification” bit. I would like to think the “complete specification” applied to the engine and the hybrid system, and that the design of the engine had been finalised for the start of 2018 several months ago, but I fear parts of the engine are still on the drawing board.

        1. No one is going to have the final specifications done at this point. Major parts are finalized only because they have to be built and test, but development work will continue all the way up until the green flag drops in Australia when guys will be packing last minute parts in their carry-on luggage to get them to the track.

      5. Isn’t that like having your ex as a backup?

      6. In the Japanese language, “Honda” means confidence. Apparently.

      7. At least they’re keeping expectations realistic this time. It’s not like they made an unrealistic statement like “Honda’s 2018 power unit will match the performance of the Mercedes 2016 power unit”

    2. I remember when traction control was implemented the fans could perfectly summarise how it worked. I even think it was a casual viewer that came up with the idea of an all carbon-fibre cockpit. Push-rod suspension is a concept they even the youngest of fans can understand. The other day I overheard a conversation in the pub of two fans explaining to eachother how they would optimise the coanda effect under the new set of rules, Ludwig Prandtl would be proud.

      And this are just a few details, want to know the meaning of the buttons in the steering wheels? Ask a F1 fan. Do you want to understand how wings direct air in the modern F1 cars? Ask any F1 fan. Want to know the aerodynamic benefits and how a shark fin controls the yaw mid corner? A random F1 fan will do. Benefits of carbon discs over metal alloys? No problem. Strat 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, we know all the strats, fuel mix A, B, C, those are just cocktails. Brake bias, flappy paddle double clutch gearboxes, setup changes, those are just morning routines for a F1 fan

      Therefore I don’t understand why the engines have to be simplified, the common F1 fan understand all the aspects of the formula, why are we having this problem now?

      1. That was an easy question. They tried to attract more new fans but doesn’t have a confidence of current generation intelligence. So dumb everything down was a necessity. :)

      2. Hey, maybe we should add Fanboost to F1 while we’re at it!

      3. @johnmilk Well said. These comments offend me. LH the other day didn’t offend me. Now speaking for the fans when they are only speaking for themselves, that’s hyper offensive.

        RB, whether it’s Horner, Marko or even Newey they tend to try to trick us, they want what suits them, everyone wants. RB is more vocal and they try to twist reality to suit their own.
        I recall banning refuelling “because of racing and the fans want on track overtaking” and not because a bad pit stop costs race wins. I remember stop the “lottery tyres that the fans don’t like”. I remember the push for more aero for 2017 because “the fans want to have more exciting cars, wider tyres and more aero will be good for racing”.

      4. @johnmilk, as others have noted, this is unlikely to be so much of a question of whether the fans understand it – and I do agree that Marko does seem to have a rather patronising view of the fans – as to Red Bull searching for a justification to significantly reduce the importance of the engine and shift the sport back towards being even more heavily dominated by aerodynamics, which suits them far more.
        The 2017 regulation package was already one measure that was expected to favour them – although, though a combination of restrictions on the suspension systems and aero correlation issues, they took time to become competitive – but the 2021 regulation package offers them a chance to significantly alter the sport in their favour for an extended period of time.

      5. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        31st December 2017, 11:03

        Great comment. There are F1 fans and there are F1 viewers.

      6. Sorry @johnmilk but there’s fans and then there’s fans. I’m a fan, been for a long time, but I only have a cursory idea of what you’re on about. That you and some others have a deep enough interest to understand a certain level of detail is no proof that most fans do. Don’t forget also that fans outside the UK and Europe more broadly get far less detailed coverage overall. And when Marko talks about fans, what he means is casual viewers of the kind the make up the bulk of TV audiences and if they were to read your comment they would stare at it blankly, blink a few times and walk away understanding nothing. Just saying.

        1. I was being sarcastic. There is no need for the fans to understand all the tech involved in order for them to appreciate the sport. Most don’t care about the points that I talked about and they are still interested in it.

          And since I believe that is the case for the majority, I don’t get it why they have to go to simpler engines because of the fans.

          It just bs to me, they just want less difference between different engines

          1. ah, gotcha, cool

    3. Re COTD:
      I think Riccardo overtakes style match the RedBull suspension system that will not be the case next year after FIA clamps its down.

      1. I respectfully disagree. Ricciardo has always been a solid overtaker, regardless of suspension geometry, as was Webber. It comes down to anatomy. Most men have 2, the better overtakers have 3.

        1. Or at least they’ve dropped.

    4. I thought Sauber had a bad year this year. If the strong backup is used, then the 107% rule might come into play. I’m hating what’s happening in brain now. It says “Fernando Alonso, double world champion, widely regarded as one of F1’s greats, was over 107% of pole.”

      1. @godoff1 Alonso is on Renault…remember?

        1. @peartree Oh right! I was being a klutz and it was early in the morning.

        2. Me think, Alonso will drive for the Renault team in 2019 and win his last WDC.

      2. The 107% rule depends on the fastest car during … I think it’s Q1. My recollection is neither McLaren or Sauber had to visit the Stewards regarding failure to comply with the 107% rule. If Sauber were compliant using a 2016 engine, then presumably Toro Rosso will also be using a Honda 2018 engine.

        1. Agreed. Even a 2 year old power unit has enough grunt for the 107% not to apply.

        2. @drycrust I meant if they use the 2017 Honda.

          1. In 2017 the Q1 gap was mostly between 2-3s (not even 3%).

            There was not a single car finishing Q1 anywhere close to the 107% cut off (Grosjean was just outside in Italy but he did not finish Q1; and neither did Vettel in Malaysia and Hamilton in Brazil).

            Thus even if other teams gain 2%, then a 2017 Honda PU should get you into the race.

        3. @drycrust but only if they can make their minds up which engine to run! Last year’s or this. X

    5. “The fan should be king, they should easily understand what is going on – and that is not possible with the current engine rules.”

      Obviously Marko is toeing the old Red Bull line, but seriously… relative to everything else in F1, the engine is fairly straightforward. I could explain it to a group of 12-year-olds and they’d probably gain at least a basic understanding of what it is, and how it works. But if you send someone far smarter than me to try to explain to the same kids what a Y250 vortex is, and what all the little bits and bobs on a front wing do, and what a coanda effect is, you’d get blank stares from everyone except the physics prodigy who has been calculating stellar orbits around hypothetical supermassive black holes since he was seven.

      I don’t see how it’s possible to keep a straight face and say it’s a problem that fans (apparently) don’t understand the engines, while working for a team which wouldn’t dream of arguing against the use of absurdly complex aerodynamics…

      1. + Σ(v²-3a/c³)/(⅝ x Ω(t²-∆t)) + mc²

    6. Honda sounds confident… NOT!

    7. You are too busy on holiday, and don’t realize Raikkonen started his own Instagram.

      1. and that Kimi now has more photos on Instagram than Hamilton!

      2. Or you were too busy noting it was commented on in yesterday’s round-up ;)

    8. By Marko’s reckoning, F1 should be run Fred Flintstone style, as that’s the simplest propulsion technology.

      I sincerely hope (and I do suspect) that comment of his is just him spinning an angle, and not his genuine belief. F1 has been the best of racing, technology and innovation. Not dumbed-down to the average denominator. There are other series in other places for that, thank you very much.

      When the 2014’s engine regs were announced and I read about turbocharging being introduced, I thought to myself “About time”. And then when I read about the energy harvesting, I was impressed and thought “Cool, now that’s some forward-looking technology*, I hope it succeeds cause I’d like to see it in my car somewhere down the line”.

      At the same time, I don’t see F1 as being technically elitist towards fans. There are two types of fans – they either don’t care about the technical side much and just enjoy the fast cars, drivers, and lifestyle (and sweep all engine stuff under a blanket “oh, its some technical stuff” banner), or they are geeks who want to know more.

      So to say that these upcoming regs are targeting this so-called fan who understands ICE but not the MGU-Hs, who’s comfortable with turbocharging but is bamboozled by energy recovery under braking, is disingenuous.

      1. *forward-looking from an ICE/hybrid perspective. EVs are forward-looking in a different way. To each their own.

      2. +1. There is nothing wrong with engines…

        They are wonderful.

        Problem is cost and inability for new competitors to enter and compete. If same could be made for 50 milion cash units then regulations should be that.

        Rules should balance performance/cost.

        1. @phylyp. The PU change was a tremendous step forwards, where the failure came was with the token system (effectively locking what could be done to sort out any issue) and the restrictions of PU components each season.

          I am all for pushing technologies within F1, it’s what F1 is about, but, cost capping and endurance is what the WEC is about. F1 needs to refind what its roots are and where they lie…

          1. @maddme – quite true. Cost caps, road relevance, green technologies are all terms used within F1, and the FIA or Liberty need to decide what F1 is, and more importantly, what F1 is not.

    9. Honda – what’s your plan C?

      1. @phylyp That’s the plan F.

        1. @peartree – I presume that then stands for plan ‘Failure in Flaming Fire’ :-)

      2. @phylyp Plan C is quitting F1. They are gonna make an engine that finally performs and until then they use whatever they have. After 3 years of failure and a departure from their topteam the last thing they wanna do is rush out a flawed design.

        1. @rethla – let’s hope the reduced pressure of a B-team gives them time to put their heads down and come out with a good engine, one that can take the fight to the Renault PU.

    10. COTD: +1.

    11. COTD handily ignores that most of Ricciardo’s overtakes are of the exact same nature. Lunges. Ricciardo needed Kimi to get out the way in Monza, Bottas to get out of the way in Austin, etc. It feels like COTD is grasping at straws to find an explanation for Verstappen’s superior form. Albeit COTD does it far better than the guy in that comments section who thinks Verstappen is only rated because F1 wants to sell tickets to the Dutch.

      1. @hahostolze, to play devil’s advocate, I can see why somebody might be persuaded to think that was the case given the circuits which are closer to the Netherlands have seen a significant increase in sales in recent years due to Dutch fans who want to see Max Verstappen (past fan surveys having shown that the Dutch are amongst the most nationalistic when it comes to supporting drivers).

        Some of those circuits have, coincidentally, been amongst those which have been in significant financial trouble in recent years due to poor ticket sales. Spa Francorchamps had been selling quite badly until Max came along, with ticket sales now reaching record levels, and Hockenheim has also reported a major surge in ticket sales for 2018 (they were already up by over 30% earlier this year, and continuing to rise) entirely due to Dutch F1 fans wanting to see Max.

        Liberty Media have already been quick to cash in on the surge in interest in Max, having put on a demonstration event in the Netherlands and floating the idea of reviving the Dutch GP as well. Whilst he is not being rated just because he taps into the Dutch market, there is a strong financial interest for Liberty Media to stoke the Max hype train as aggressively as possible as it does seem that his supporters are being fairly lavish with their cash as they follow their idol.

      2. F1 wants to sell tickets to the Dutch

        Good luck. The Dutch are widely known to be the most stingy people around ;)

        1. If Max is drawing more numbers at venues and on TV, then that is perfect for F1 and exactly what Liberty should be taking advantage of. Why wouldn’t they? But the bottom line is there would be no hype if Max was not enthralling to watch. Sounds like F1 needs more Maxes.

    12. “The fan should be king, they should easily understand what is going on – and that is not possible with the current engine rules.”

      Again, when will all these people who barely understand the engine regulations themselves stop saying fans don’t understand it. It’s not that difficult, people who want to understand can read plenty about it and 99% of the fans don’t even care what engine is in the back as long as it’s fast and makes a good sound. There’s plenty of documentation on how these engines work, and if you’re willing to learn it’s not that complicated at all.

      1. Agreed, engines are briliant. What we want is more equal performance…

        1. @jureo

          What we want is more equal performance

          Only if it’s as a result of the engine suppliers getting to similar levels of performance on there own through there own hard work.

          What I don’t want to see is an engine formula or other regulations brought in that artificially creates equalization of performance because I don’t think that is what F1 has ever or should ever be about.

          If an advantage is found that allows a team or manufacturer to dominate then it should be down to the rest to catch up & if they can’t then tough luck. I have always hated the idea of advantages been closed off or rules changed just to eliminate an advantage that a team or manufacturer has gained. F1 is supposed to be about teams & manufacturer’s finding advantages & producing the fastest car or engine they can in order to win & I don’t think equalization or standardization should even be in the discussion.

          1. While I agree with sporting concept, in reality that will never happen.

            If development is a relevant part of car performance, we will have costs spiraling out of control, and no performance parity. Somebody will get it more right.

            In F1 terms if Mercedes makes an engine 1% better, that is enough to beat all the competion with a healthy margin.

      2. Agreed, engines are briliant. What we want is more equal performance…and ability of chassis to sustain closer racing.

    13. Must say I’m surprised at the venom directed toward Marko here. He starts by saying the fan should be king. Well aren’t we? Would racing exist if fans didn’t show up and tune in? F1 would not exist without us. Why is that condescending? It’s something F1 needs to always remember and I’m sure does, as indicated by Marko’s words.

      When he says the regs are too complicated, he includes for the teams as well. So he is not condescending to fans at all. Haven’t we all discussed, as have Sky, how ridiculous it seems sometimes when a driver can get 38 grid spot penalties in a day, and start from somewhere near the back depending on who had what other penalties? Or can intentionally take extra penalties in a day while he was going to be near the back anyway, and be saved other penalties at the next race?

      I don’t think Marko is only talking about pu’s but regs in general, and wrt pu’s I thought most would be fine with the rule changes to simplify them somewhat, reducing costs and chances of things breaking and causing grid penalty after grid penalty. Maybe throwing in some more noise too. Marko seems on board with what fans seem to want, yet he’s patronizing?

      I think his wording that fans should easily understand what is going on, is not to say nobody can understand it now….just that it shouldn’t be necessary for it to be so complicated. Just as from one season to the next they can have the stewards lighten up a little and let the drivers race because we don’t want our winners decided in a boardroom but rather on the track, that seems to be all Marko is saying. Let’s simplify. Just because they can make it complicated doesn’t mean they should. And they indeed are simplifying.

      1. @robbie, it is because a lot of people do not believe that Marko is sincere with his comments, but rather that he wants the engines to be removed as a performance differentiator because he wants his team to be able to dominate in an aero dominated formula.

        It’s the belief that Marko is deaf to the fans when they propose things that he does not want to hear, such as those who argue for cuts in aerodynamic complexity – and in terms of reducing costs, that is an area where far greater cost savings could be made – and only raises concerns on behalf of the fans when he thinks he can extract a political advantage out of it.

      2. @robbie I have often held the view that the fans views should not be taken into account because not only are there many different views & opinions but I also don’t think we even know what we want or fully understand what the end results of what we think we want may be.

        With regards to the current engines for instance there are fans that despise them & those who like them, There are those that think volume/sound is one of the most important factors & those that don’t, Those that like hybrids & those that think they should be screaming V12’s with no hybrid addons at all.

        There are those that want more overtaking, That like high degredation tyres that mix up strategies & who like DRS because they want more overtaking almost regardless of how its created…. And there are then those who think too much focus is put on simply creating more overtaking & who see the solutions they have come up with over recent years as artificial gimmicks that have hurt rather than helped the racing.

        Some want refueling back, Others don’t. Some want less complicated cars while others enjoy the complexity. Some want performance equality to ensure competitive racing & close title fights every year while others see that as going against what F1 is.

        Fans screamed for more overtaking & that gave us DRS, Fans asked for strategy options & that gave us high degredation tyres which then resulted in fans been angry that those tyres introduced what many saw as extreme levels of tyre management so fans they went on to scream about drivers not been able to push hard enough during a race.

        The fans are important, However the FIA, Liberty & F1 in general should do what they want to do & go in whatever direction they think is right & from there the fans can either follow or leave….. That is how its been for decades until fairly recently & that approach worked perfectly well.

    14. If Marko is so keen on F1 being simple enough for ‘the fans’ then I’m sure he’d also be receptive to ditching the advanced aero that Red Bull derive so much advantage from. I mean, how many fans understand complex aerodynamics, vortices, slot gaps, or how having a tabbed nose on the car to get more air under it somehow winds up increasing the amount of downforce it has?

      There are some changes to the rules I welcome. Making the driver more in control of how the power is deployed is putting right something the current rules got wrong. And putting that data on show like they used to when drivers deployed KERS is a way of increasing fan engagement. You don’t need to understand the ins and outs of how the whole system works to get a driver is using their electric power.

      Standardised power unit parts though are a disaster, I get why Red Bull want them but they completely miss the point of it being a competition.

    Comments are closed.