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Honda faces dyno conundrum

NEWS STORY
13/06/2017

While Zak Brown last week admitted that McLaren is ninety days away from making a decision on its partnership with Honda, Eric Boullier's emotional reaction in the wake of Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix appeared to suggest the decision is even nearer to being made… assuming it hasn't been made already.

Speaking after a late engine failure robbed Fernando Alonso of a certain points finish on Sunday, Boullier said: "After so much toil and heartache, that single point would have felt like a victory. And then came yet another gut-wrenching failure.

"It's difficult to find the right words to express our disappointment, our frustration and, yes, our sadness," he added. "So I'll say only this: it's simply, and absolutely, not good enough."

With McLaren now admitting its increasing frustration publicly, it is no wonder that speculation is building, a number of British tabloids already claiming that a deal has been agreed with Mercedes for 2018.

At Honda, Yusuke Hasegawa admits the Japanese manufacturer is perplexed, unable to understand how improvements made on the dyno cannot be transferred to the race track, and issues on the track cannot be recreated on the dyno.

"We can't create good conditions on the dyno," he told Motorsport.com. "We need to create the same conditions from the track on the dyno. The operational conditions are different so we need to understand why that makes a difference to the reliability.

"Last year, we could prove engine reliability on the dyno," he continued, "so we need to understand why now there is some difference from dyno to the circuit running... it's not easy. We need to improve the accuracy."

Of the long-standing MGU-H issue, which saw Stoffel Vandoorne suffer a further failure at the weekend, he said: "We have the countermeasure part but we didn't introduce it in Canada because we would get a penalty.

"If we're confident with the countermeasure, strategically we may choose some circuits to introduce it," he added. "We don't want to have a failure on the circuit and take a penalty."

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1. Posted by Spartacus, 15/06/2017 16:01

"Honda's situation is perplexing to say the least. At times the McLaren seems to be pretty quick (top 10) and other times way down the grid (15-18th). Although I am not an engineer, it would seem Honda would be doing many many hours of reliability testing before the PU is on the car. Then once on the car in a race scenario, the PU fails. They dial down the performance then step it up which leads to failure. I can say ALO is fantastic and wrings out every ounce of performance he can. He will probably leave McLaren Honda and go to Renault or maybe Indycar."

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2. Posted by NS Biker, 14/06/2017 5:45

"Montreal ... lap 63, Alonso sets 4th fastest lap of the race. 3 tenths faster than the Red Bull of Riciardo.
Being that far down on power on a track like that one, there must be some magic in either the car or the driver.
Now if the rig will only last for 71 laps, there would indeed be joy in Mudville."

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3. Posted by Hondaunearthed, 14/06/2017 3:01

"They haven't built a proven winning chassis since then. However, I may be wrong in assuming this, you haven't driven the car @F One, so for this I will take Fernando's word that the chassis is good and possibly one of the fastest. "

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4. Posted by F One, 13/06/2017 16:50

"Something is clearly seriously wrong with the way McLaren has mounted the engine in the car then.
But then of course they're still desperate to blame Honda for everything and happily ignoring the fact that they've not built a good chassis since 2011."

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5. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 13/06/2017 14:45

"Maybe McLaren's simulator needs to be connected to Honda's dynamometer, and see how the PU handles a simulated race. I'm sure both parties have the facility to do that."

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6. Posted by edllorca, 13/06/2017 14:05

"So clearly out of their depth in many different ways... so sad."

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