MCLAREN-HONDA’S RECOVERY DRIVE
make it a lot more credible next season,
and perhaps a title threat beyond that.
McLaren will probably end this season
sixth in the Formula 1 Constructors’ World
Championship. Not that managing to
overhaul and stay ahead of Scuderia Toro
Rosso would be much to write home about,
but it’s a significant step forward from last
season, when the Honda power unit
package was, by some margin, the weakest.
While the 1.6-liter V6 engine was pretty
good in itself, the crucial energy recovery
systems components weren’t up to the
task. Thanks to McLaren’s excessively
aggressive “size zero” concept, cooling
was a problem, the turbo was too small
and unable to operate for sustained
periods at the desired rpm (the
regulations allow the turbo to spin at up
to 125,000rpm), too many parts failed –
including a shaft in the MGU-K motor-
generator unit that broke repeatedly –
and early on in the season, the package
was barely able to deploy more than just
over a third of the maximum allowed
120k W (160bhp) electrical power.
Largely, this was down to the limitations
of the turbo/MGU-H setup.
The reasons for these problems were
multi-fold. Honda started a year behind
As a constructor, Honda has just
three grand prix wins. But as an
engine supplier, it’s powered
69 GP wins, six constructors’
and five drivers’ titles for
Williams, Lotus and McLaren.
A PROUD RECORD