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Honda Formula one racing

1964 - 2008

Follow the comeback in the 2015 F1 season

Honda the Japanese car manufacturer, has been a part of Formula One racing as a constructor, engine supplier and race entrant between 1964 and 2008

“The succession planning that we have implemented during this year means we are now ready to conduct the transition from my current responsibilities to a new leadership team ”

Ross Brawn will be leaving Mercedes at the end of the year.

Ross Brawn Honda

Brawn

The team principal is standing down following changes to the management structure at Mercedes F1.

 "The succession planning that we have implemented during this year means we are now ready to conduct the transition from my current responsibilities to a new leadership team composed of Toto and Paddy. The most important consideration in my decision to step down was to ensure the timing was right for the team in order to ensure its future success” Brawn added:

Executive directors Paddy Lowe and Toto Wolff will take control of the team.

Toto Wolffe formula one Paddy Lowe formula 1

Torger Christian "Toto" Wolff is an Austrian investor and racing driver who is currently an Executive Director of Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and a shareholder in Williams F1 of which he owns 16% in shares

Paddy Lowe is a British motor racing engineer and Executive Technical Director of Mercedes Formula One. Lowe graduated from Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge in 1984 with a degree in engineering.

Brawn said organisational changes meant the team was "uniquely positioned to succeed in 2014" and that he was "proud to have helped lay the foundations for that success".


Mercedes had asked Brawn to stay on but he made it clear last month that he would only do so if he remained in sole charge of the team.


The team have made it clear they feel a single team principal, with overall charge of all aspects of the F1 operation, is an outdated concept because of the sport's increasingly complex nature.

Honda formula one race car

Jonathan Neale, managing director of McLaren, down-played the significance of Honda having already run their 2015 engine on the dyno, saying that the hard work is only just beginning.

The Woking-based team confirmed in May2013 that they are entering a multi-year technology partnership with Honda , whilst Jonathon Neale admitted he was excited to hear audio of the Japanese manufacturer’s new engine, he repeated that McLaren’s current focus is of course with their 2014 engine supplier Mercedes.

Neale added “It’s always good when you hear a new engine fire up, it’s a great moment for the whole organisation, and a moment of satisfaction for everybody.” “Honda moved heaven and earth to be able to get the first engine built, constructed and running. It’s a bit like - to use the metaphor of pregnancy - you focus on the first nine months and then you realise that it’s only then that the hard work starts”.

“While we have something that’s running, we’re under no illusion how much work we have to do together to be able to develop a competitive power unit in terms of the engine, the ERS system, the battery technology, and all of the systems that go round that. Particularly for us, as for McLaren to do it twice in two years is a fairly ambitious project. But we’re really excited about that”

“However at this time of year - with only some frightening number of weeks to go to the end of this year - all hands at the moment are focused on working with Mercedes and the integration of that engine, and the development of our fuel and lube programme with Exxon Mobil, so that we’re able to put a high performance package on the deck, and a reliable one, for the start of next year.”


Brawn led Ferrari as technical director  to Michael Schumacher's five consecutive world titles from 2000-04 and six constructors' championships in a row from 1999. Brawn left Ferrari in 2006.


He then took a six-month break before re-emerging as Honda's team principal ahead of the 2008 season.


Honda's decision to quit F1 at the end of 2008 led to Brawn buying the team and renaming it Brawn.


They went on in spectacular form to win the 2009 drivers' title with Jenson Button, as well as the constructors' crown, before Mercedes took them over. The Brawn team in their 2009 win, were described as a fantasy, unbelievable and beyond reality by many, as Button in their initial year went from zero to Champion, something Hollywood would write and termed unrealistic, a remarkable year for a remarkable team.

F1Honda.com ARCHIVE 2014

2015

As the world of F1 is gearing for the launch of the 2015 season, a season which has become increasingly longer with each passing year, the governing body of F1, the FIA, has admitted to there being a loophole in the regulations which have now allowed the ‘current F1 manufacturers’, to continue the development of their respective engines during the 2015 season.  CONTINUE


This apparent loophole was raised around the interpretation of homologated as understood by the FIA and race teams. Just in case you as the reader was wondering what homologated meant,

homologate

vb

1. (Law) law to confirm (a proceeding, etc)

2. (Motor Racing) to recognize (a particular type of car or car component) as a production model or component rather than a prototype, as in making it eligible for a motor race.

[ from Medieval Latin homologāre to agree, from Greek homologein to approve.

Renault and Ferrari tried hard towards the end of 2014 for the F1 engine development freeze to be eased in order to allow more time to introduce upgrades, which were very much needed, instead of needing to make whatever changes were possible by a pre-season deadline.

Mercedes were however not seeking to change the understood rules and refused point blank to concede much ground.

The F1 world suddenly changed however, when it was hinted to the FIA that the engine rules did not in fact stipulate a specific date by which time a final engine had to be lodged for the 2015 season.

Whilst the FIA had always held to the fact that new engines would need to be homologated for the first race of the new season, this was never actually stipulated in the rules.

An FIA spokesman said: "It was always envisaged, although not explicitly stated in the rules, that manufacturers would have to deal with modifications on the engine within the constraints of the rules, and then submit their 2015 engine for the first race. It is simple, but when you read it, it doesn't say that unfortunately."

It was James Allison, Ferrari's technical director, who raised this issue at a technical regulations working group meeting with the FIA whilst at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, this was followed up with further discussions at a Strategy Group meeting just before Christmas.   With the FIA admitting that the wording of the regulations was open to interpretation, it had no option but to inform teams that the ‘most logical and robust way forward is to accept that there is no actual date for 2015 homologation’.

What this all meant in day to day fact, was that manufacturers now had the option of introducing upgrades to their engines throughout the season. They still have to maintain the 32 development token limit that is laid down within the rules and not to exceed the 4 engine per car limit per campaign.

Charlie Whiting of the FIA, issued a letter to all F1 teams sent over the Christmas period, the letter made it clear that the upgrades would be allowed to be applied at any point over the 2015 season.


NO DEVELOPMENT FREEDOM FOR HONDA


One of the great ironies of this interpretation that allows Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault to bring in developments throughout the 2015 season, is that Honda will be allowed to have the same development freedom, why? Because it is a new manufacturer. Extraordinary that Honda has played a pivotal role in F1 over recent years and upon its reentry into the sport, it is penalized and forced to play by different rules.

According to Whiting and the FIA;  Although the regulations do not specifically state dates for the Japanese car maker to submit its homologated unit, the FIA is standing by its view that it must stick to the February 28 date that the current manufacturers faced last year. adding "As the existing manufacturers were obliged to homologate their power units by 28 February 2014 it would seem fair and equitable to ask a new manufacturer to homologate their power unit before February 28 2015,We therefore consider this to be a requirement for a new power unit manufacturer."

Why freeze rules are in place;

It was a sensible original idea to freeze engine development over certain periods of the pre or post season, in order to blanket the engine and car development more fairly, otherwise the rich teams with their multi billion backing and access to limitless tools, would simply walk of with wins season after season. It was during discussions to frame the new turbo V6 regulations, that an engine freeze was agreed to prevent costs getting out of control, and quite rightly so.

Once a power unit design was lodged with the FIA on February 28 2014, changes would only be accepted during the season for "reliability, safety or cost-saving reasons."

Each winter however, a very limited number of modifications would be allowed.

The scope of the change would be limited by a 'token' system, this related to the individual components on the engine and its hybrid systems. A complete power unit is given 66 tokens, these are graded individually from 1-3, depending upon their respective importance.

Ahead of the 2015 season, 5 of the 66 tokens were frozen entirely, so no changes allowed. The remaining 61 tokens were open to review if the manufacturer believed improvements were required. However, the rules made it clear that only 32 tokens could be used for the 2015 season, or approximately 48 % of the power unit.

This issue or loophole as many saw it, relates very specifically to when these tokens need to be used by. This new development in rules interpretation has meant that there is now no deadline during the season by which development changes need to be implemented.

Year by year the amount of development changes has been restricted and will continue to do so. For 2016, 38 per cent of the engine can be changed, this will be down to 30% in 2017,  and down to 23% in 2018, with just 5% in both 2019 and 2020.



F1 teams can develop engines in season after FIA admits loophole

Charlie Whitting