Honda F1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa has admitted that his engineering team underestimated the task of building a competitive Formula 1 power unit and as early as December last they suspected that they had a huge problem on their hands.
Speaking to Autosport, Hasegawa said, “I’m hugely disappointed. Of course we noticed most of the failures came from our PU. It’s fair to say not everything came from our PU. [But] from the performance point of view, the biggest weakness is our PU. We are very disappointed.”
“As a matter of fact we were thinking too easy, [but] it was too difficult to achieve the new technology. We had some laboratory level experiments. We were thinking too easy, so that was my mistake.”
“We have to realise the whole package, but we didn’t make it. We made some good progress in the mono-cylinder on the dyno, but as soon as we completed the V6 engine we had many issues.”
“What we achieved in [the] 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. But it was too late that we noticed that – at Christmas.”
“After we understand the issues this was the time we needed to confirm the final specification. We needed to have some compromise.”
“We have huge vibrations. 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. Please understand I’m not blaming the chassis, we have to realise the situation on the dyno as well.”
“I try to react to the team’s and drivers’ depression, if we have a way, but it is not an easy job. It’s a big job to update the engines, so we need to live with the situation for a couple of weeks. Obviously if we find the way, as soon as we get it things will be alright.”
“We are trying even harder in Sakura. We are trying everything we can do now.”
“We can change the intake system or exhaust system; we can see a solution with that, but we can’t change [completely] the inside of the engine. Obviously we have no time to change completely the packaging, and I don’t think it’s necessary to change everything.
“If we find a good solution we need to change the engine for round five or six, so I really want to update our specification before then, or to that time,” added Hasegawa.