October 1, 2014
Here is Honda's F1 power unit...maybe
Before you get too excited, remember the pictures Mercedes first released of its engine last year turned out to have been designed to deceive. Renault and Ferrari did the same of course.
The scuttlebutt is that Honda is running late in it's development, that its initial assessment of the best compromise between the various components had to be re-evaluated in light of Mercedes success and that it's this delay that has caused Alonso to hesitate in jumping ship and go back to Woking with a suitcase full of cash.
I'm not sure I buy all that.
It will be interesting to find out where Honda will end up in their power unit compromise, if their technology guide is any indication, one might guess they like the Mercedes MGU-H heavy solutions
"Unlike the MGU-K, F1 regulations do not place energy usage restrictions on the MGU-H. Based on thermal energy from the turbocharger. Electricity generated by the MGU-H may be fed directly into the MGU-K, effectively bypassing the MGU-K restrictions and tapping the full 160PS, highlighting the importance of developing a system to fully utilize the MGU-H. The new F1 power unit heavily depends on how effectively the MGU-H performs."
By the technical regulations the engine is divided into 42 items. Each of these 42 items is give a "points" value: the water pump is 1 point, Valve geometry is 3 points. The total "points" value is 66.
Three items are frozen now:
Upper/lower crankcase (Cylinder bore spacing, deck height, bank stagger),
Crankshaft (Crank throw, main bearing journal diameter, rod bearing journal diameter)
and Air valve system (Including compressor, air pressure regulation devices)
Five more will be frozen for 2016 and so on towards a total freeze in 2019.
Still with me?
The 2015 frozen items leave 39 items to alter, worth a total of 61 "points".
Teams however are not allowed to change all 39 items because they only have 32 "points" to spend. On top if that they cannot modify more than 48% of the original "weighted" components.
Teams will need to choose wisely because those points will add up fast.
In the meantime, Honda has announced it will be taking part in the test in Abu Dhabi after the final race of the season.