Honda ditch partners to streamline PU production

While Honda ditch partners ahead of their first Formula 1 season supplying both Toro Rosso and Red Bull team consultant, Helmut Marko is adamant that this is all part of the plan to bring power unit related development under one roof.

Auto Bild reports that friction between simulation specialists AVL and Honda engineers have put a hold on the co-operation between the two organisations as they work on the final aspects of the 2019 power unit package that Red Bull and Toro Rosso will use next year.

According to the report, AVL is the world’s largest independent company for the development, simulation and testing of drive systems for hybrid and combustion engines, transmissions, electric motors, batteries and software for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and large other engines with its own test bench. Honda have been clients in an effort to improve their Formula 1 engine.

But it appears things have soured with quarrels between an AVL project leader and Honda engineers triggering the decision to part ways. Similarly, this same project leader was responsible for Ferrari ending their association with the Austrian company not too long ago.

Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko confirmed the abovementioned scenario and added that Honda will also limit input from Mario Illien (of Mercedes F1 engine fame) who had been on board as a consultant to help Honda’s cause, but his contribution did not deliver on expectations.

Marko insists Honda want to bring the PU production under one roof and end the outsourcing of engine production and development related work.

“For this purpose, appropriate measures have been initiated, said Marko of the latest developments before adding, “Honda have already overtaken Renault and will be even better in 2019.”

Whatever the case, come the season opener on 17 March, in Melbourne, there will be nowhere to hide for the Red Bull Honda partnership on which so much hinges.

Abiteboul: Let’s see what happens with Red Bull and Honda