Hasegawa: Engine step seemed "too easy"

05/04/2017
NEWS STORY

For a nation known for its proverbs and philosophical sayings, Japanese manufacturer Honda was clearly caught on the hoof when testing its new engine on the dyno.

Taking full advantage of the controversial token system to build an all new engine, which, certainly in terms of layout, was similar to the all-conquering unit used by Mercedes, all was looking good when run on the dyno.

But then came the reality...

"We were thinking it was too easy, and it was too difficult to achieve the new technology, that was my mistake," Yusuke Hasegawa told Motorsport.com.

"We did some good progress in the mono-cylinder on the dyno, but as soon as we complete the V6 engine we had many issues," he admits. "What we achieved in mono-cylinder is at a very good level, but when we transfer exactly the same specification to the V6 engine it doesn't work.

"We are very disappointed," he adds, a masterpiece of understatement. "But it was too late that we noticed that... at Christmas. After we understand the issues this was the time we need to confirm the final specification, we needed to have some compromise."

Other than being down on power, the reliability issues have mainly been down to vibration.

"We have huge vibrations," he admits. "The only thing I can tell is that on the dyno we didn't have such a big issue... when we have a gearbox, driveshaft and tyre it has some resonance.

"I'm not blaming the chassis," he insists, "we have to realise the situation on the dyno as well."

Claiming that the new engine produces "almost the same power" as the 2016 unit, Hasegawa says the much-anticipated update could be ready for the Spanish Grand Prix next month..

"If we find a good solution we need to change the engine for round five or six," he says, "so I really want to update our specification before then, or to that time.

"We have already achieved some good level of performance with the mono-cylinder engine," he adds, triggering one's inner sense of deja vu. "The thing we have to do is transfer that technology to the V6. Although we still have to improve that, we have some confidence we can achieve that level."

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Published: 05/04/2017
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