Honda 2015 F1 power unit

Honda reveals 2015 F1 power unit

2015 F1 season

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Honda 2015 F1 power unit

Honda has revealed the first image of the hybrid V6 1.6-litre turbo power unit which it will use in its return to Formula One with McLaren in 2015.

“Working toward Honda’s F1 participation starting in the 2015 season, development of the power unit is entering its prime phase at our R&D facility in Sakura, where we transferred our automobile motor sports development earlier this year” said senior managing officer of Honda research and development Yasuhisa Arai.

“In addition to conducting simulations, we have moved onto the next stage where we conduct full-fledged bench tests of the engine while connecting the turbocharger and energy recovery systems.

“In the meantime, our racing operation base in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, has become fully operational. At this time, we are unveiling an image of our power unit that is under development. The whole team is concentrating on this development, getting ready for the forthcoming start of F1 participation in six months.”

Honda have also launched a new website giving further details about their engine and will demonstrate a video revealing the sound of the engine at Suzuka during the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend.

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Image © Honda

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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52 comments on “Honda reveals 2015 F1 power unit”

  1. This picture (or computer rendering) tells us exactly nothing. I’d be really surprised if the actual unit would look anyting like this. Remember the Mercedes drawings and animations? Those showed an engine with a conventional turbo and spaghetty exhaust headers. The real engine turned out to have a split turbo and log exhausts.

  2. its not a reveal when you know their real PU is not going to look like this at all it pretty much shows what a ‘conventional’ F1 power unit looks like as if we didnt know that already

    1. Marc Saunderts
      1st October 2014, 13:26

      It looks pretty much like a copy of the Renault images showed at the beginning.

  3. “V-tec kicked in yo” jokes in 3…2…1….

    1. MGU-K Kicked in Yo!

      1. haha +1

    2. I’m waiting for 2016 F1 Honda R-Type

  4. Formula-I (@)
    1st October 2014, 9:41

    I hope this could bring McLaren back into top spots, its sad to see a f1 team who have one of the most heritage are struggling in the midfield

    1. A Honda engine won’t fix their midfield problems, they have the best engine right now and still can’t get decent results. Here’s hoping Honda do manage to produce something that can compete with the engines of next year so we can see if the staff changes McLaren have been implementing this year have had an effect.

    2. while having the best engine already. So who’s fault is that? If they keep this pattern going, this Honda engine… uhmm, pardon me, Power Unit, will have to be head and shoulders better than the rest to compensate for the chassis deficiencies.

      1. Granted Mclaren do have the best engine but will be somewhat out in the cold on the details of it this year as they are leaving Mercedes as an engine supplier, if Mercedes believe giving Mclaren technical information could benefit a competitor next year aren’t they likely to withhold that data?

        1. Yes you are correct merc doesnt share software and data with merc like they do with FI and Williams, also those 3 teams use the same fuel while mcClaren uses another kind which is sort of a big deal this year.

        2. No i dont think so due to some kind of contract they will have it will only be up until the last few races or something when information stops being released to McLaren. I suspect this is the beginning of the new McLaren, first the new rookie (MAG) and now the reconstruction of the famous Honda partnership, its falling into place, my money is on them replacing (BUT) due to his poor performance and bringing in someone like (ALO) who drives the nuts and bolts off a car. Ferrari haven’t been good to him, its about time he moved.

          1. @gremlinwon I’m pretty certain that the Merc engine customers (eg McLaren, Williams, FI etc) aren’t getting ‘exactly’ the same level of info/engineering that the Merc car team are getting. I have no evidence for this of course. I heard rumours (probably on here) that they were running a different turbo configuration (or mappings or something) than the customer cars…

        3. “Williams got new engine mods to keep Red Bull away from the Merc in WCC.”
          I think I’ve read something like that earlier in the year, I’m not sure. Anyway, McLaren is going to the competition, it’s perfectly understandable that Mercedes doesn’t want to gift Honda too much data etc.

          1. modes, not mods

      2. @njoydesign – Too true. McLaren will have to make amazing advances in the chassis department, or as you say Honda will need to surpass the Mercedes power package *of next season*, or both just to try and finish ahead of where they are dismally placed this season. That all sounds like too much luck involved or counting on misfortune for other teams to do worse next season so McLaren can get better. Just does not seem likely.

  5. Looking forward to the sound beacause the old Honda turbo sounded GLORIOUS!!

    1. it sounded better then the current turbos, but calling it glorius is debatable – when compared to even some rally cars of the era, and certainly not as glorious as f1 engines that superceded it. I think the early turbo Renaults sounded better than it too, and Ferraris turbo.

    2. It won’t sound like the old cars, because the new spec has no waste-gate; the turbe is driven up and down to the right speed by an electric motor. Not as euphonic, but much more efficient.

      1. @dmw You’re wrong. They do have wastegates

  6. What it does show though is that the compressor seems to be located on the front of the engine, like in the mercedes setup and the exhaust system is very tightly packaged, leaving lots of room around the engine.

    1. It also appears to have a “log” style exhaust manifold, like the Mercedes—an oft overlooked but important part of the overall packaging advantage of the MB works cars at least.

    2. If you go to the Honda website:

      You’ll see that the compressor it’s not like in the Mercedes engine, but we shouldn’t really pay much attention to these renders because Mercedes didn’t show the true layout of the PU either last year.

      1. “* This diagram does not represent Honda’s actual power unit.”

    3. @nicjasno2, what do you mean with compressor located on the front? this image show nothing of what is in the front of the engine.
      @dmw is absolutely spot-on on the exhaust manifolds. the ones from Renault (from the presentation images) are huge and extend a lot to the sides whilst the Mercedes and this Honda is much more closer to the engine block, taking much less space, thus allowing for a better cooling, I would say…

      1. The turbo is directly at the back of the engine and is mounted to the electric motor. If the compressor was anywhere near the turbo would be much farther away from the engine. It is only logical that they went this route since mercedes proved that this is the way to go.

  7. Awesome dude!
    I have to wonder — Milton Keynes? Could RBR be having a serious look for 2016 if next year is good?

    1. @abbinator

      There are still rumours going about that Honda are behind schedule with fuel efficiency, but hopefully they’ll get those gremlins fixed in time!

      1. where is this rumour??

        1. Directly above!

    2. @abbinator All the noises coming from RBR is that they’re going to increase their partnership with Renault, developing the MGUs and ERS systems in tandem, so they can have complete synergy with the car. Basically as a works team a-la Mercedes.

      1. Should be very intersting, and could lead to less 2014 style seasons in the future, now that we have three (four if McLaren is included) works teams.

    3. Anyone know how long McLaren’s exclusive Honda deal lasts? I thought there was a regulation, or at least a “cost saving” intention, that each engine maker supplied multiple teams.

      Red Bull are obviously top of the list, although they gave up on buying local engines last year with Toro Rosso and Ferrari.

      1. Just one year I saw @bullfrog

  8. excuse me whilst i contain my excitement…ok, done it

  9. Even with the strongest of Power Units this year McLaren have struggled to find any sort of top form that the likes of Mercedes and Williams have managed to produce. Although I am excited to see exactly what McLaren can do with the Honda powertrain, the problem predominantely lies with the design of the MP4-29, thus the PU not being the issue. I think the big risk for McLaren is moving to Honda with an underdeveloped PU which can not match the Mercedes, Ferrari or even Renault and give them even lower results. I for one hope that this is not the case, but at the back of my mind and I’m sure many others, there is always a risk of this being a ‘dud move’ and therefore not gaining anything from it.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how this comes along! :)

    1. exactly, though if (big if) the Honda is equivalent to the Merc then McLaren will still gain a significant advantage from being a works team. still, if their car is as weak as this year’s then they could have a 2004 BMW v10 and would still struggle.

    2. The benefit would be the ability to design the car to conform with the engine overall. Of course, this facility did not help Ferrari, which managed to “de-optimize” their package, possibly by ensuring that the engine and aero guys could just blame each other at closer distance. Unless Honda sets up shop in Woking in a major way, there is no way to be sure to capture these “synergies.”

      And if Alonso goes there, there would be the chance to build the entire package around a driver who is already familiar with the spec, who is proven to be able to maximize that spec (it appears), and also who knows well the pitfalls of poor integration of engineering teams.

  10. Honda did an interview on the F1 website recently stating they can match Mercedes. As long as they build something better than what Ferrari and Renault came up with. Their aerodynamics department has been bolstered up for next year as well. Hopefully these things result in an upturn of performance.

    1. Maybe they can match the Mercedes of early last year, but the 2015 one? I’m skeptical

    2. “Honda can match Mercedes”. “Their aerodynamics department has been bolstered up”.

      Are you talking Honda or Mclaren? Regardless, I find both statements unlikely.

  11. I think the Honda engines are the biggest key to the driver market in 2016. If Honda comes out guns blazing with an engine that matches Mercedes in 2015, look for Nando and Seb kissing their respective teams goodbye and heading for Mclaren .

    1. Interesting point @todfod. It could go either way, afaics. Renault and Ferrari will have separate turbo/impeller too next year and have caught up a lot.

      Honda have done great engines and duds, and their most recent was a dud – istr in 2009 there was talking of BrawnGP gaining 70 hp with the switch to Merc, as well as driveability and reliability.

      Of course it will be new people at Honda now. Can’t wait to see, and as you say I bet Nando and Seb can’t wait to see either. And the Prodromou aero of course.

      1. I never heard this 70hp talk, if anything Honda were right up their for power – in both v19 and v8 era – with only Renault trailing behind in power. the drivability came with the double decker diffuser.
        Renault and Ferrari may switch turbo designs, but wont be able to redesign the engine to work optimally with the different turbo design, so they will still trail behind.

  12. Well the website looks like it dates to around 2004, let’s hope the PU is a more, umm, cutting-edge

  13. Fingers crossed guys! They need to make work to help McLaren and to get a second costumer for 2016.

  14. For me the more interesting part of the article is that Honda’s racing operation base in Milton Keynes is fully operational. Not that the importance of engine well married to chassis is new, but it has never been more important. This is not just about Mac making a better chassis than this year…it is about a better marriage of Honda’s PU with Mac’s chassis in conjunction with each other…not Honda putting together a PU and Mac slapping it into whatever they come up with in hopes that it works. It’s a joint effort.

    I’m assuming it will be a closer relationship with Honda than Mac had with Merc leading up to this year, because Merc would have been more concerned with the marriage to their own chassis and Mac would have been in essence slapping the Merc PU into their chassis, not nearly working so hand-in-hand as Merc’s works team.

    So I think theoretically Honda could make a slightly inferior PU, but with a perfect marriage to Mac, and reliability, make some waves. Renault and Ferrari may step it up on the PU side, but as has been pointed out, RBR has to and sounds like will be working more closely with Renault to improve their marriage. Ferrari is already all in-house so it’s nose to the grindstone for them too. Follow Merc’s lead with the PU but it has to still be about the marriage and everything working in sync.

  15. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    1st October 2014, 14:13


    For a member probably infamous for his essay-like posts, for once I feel there is nothing more to be said than that!

  16. Honda’s website animation of energy flow has the tires going in reverse, FYI. Kind of a funny oversight.

    1. Isn’t that depicting Hamilton reversing on the grid at McLaren in 2015?

  17. To give you an idea of how far behind Honda are in their development,
    Renault presented their new engine in June last year:
    Mercedes in January 2013! Although i all fairness that’s not the final design but still
    And Ferrari were the most secretive they presented theirs in December although they had been running it in the dyno since August 2012:

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