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McLaren Honda team in 2015

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McLaren Honda team in 2015

Postby Willie Caja on Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:57 am

Ok, I felt like this thread was needed. You see, all this drooling about Seb and Ferrari... well, something had to be done... :hihi:
Now, to the matter.

We know the line-up:

-Fernando Alonso
-Jenson Button

We know the reserve, and test drivers:

-Kevin Magnussen
-Stoffel Vandoorne
-Oliver Turvey (Is he still there?)
And now, Pedro de la Rosa.

Racing Director: Eric Boullier

What we don't know: the new Honda motor.

So, what are the chances of the team?

A lot will depend on how well the motor performs. I have the feeling it will start slowly, and improve over the season. The Japanese are very methodical and determined people. If it doesn't quite work at the start, they'll make it work. Also: full pockets.
McLaren has very clever people, so I expect the chassis to be competitive.
And, they have two experienced, solid drivers. Exactly what you need if you make as big a change as the one they're making. Alonso is very competitive, and is at a very good moment, with the desire to win again. Button always delivers, and he's one clever guy, know knows how to "read" a race and react very quickly.

So, what do you guys think?
What will you expect them to be at the end of the championship?
Will they be better than Williams? Red Bull? Will they present a challenge to Mercedes?
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Re: McLaren Honda team in 2015

Postby Sakae on Sun Dec 21, 2014 12:47 pm

Willie Caja wrote:
...So, what do you guys think?
What will you expect them to be at the end of the championship?
Will they be better than Williams? Red Bull? Will they present a challenge to Mercedes?


Ok, I bite. Short answer - I seriously doubt it, despite witnessing weird things to happen in F1 (re: 2014). Rationale behind my answer is actually very simple. McLaren is drooling over this so called "iconic" relationship with Honda, as it would be all Mercedes's responsibility for their results since 1998. Placing 5th in WCC standings twice in succession has more causes behind than just "lousy" Mercedes PU unit. Had we seen them close follow up on Mercedes, that is in competitive position mounting serious challenge, than I would say yes, factory team/drivers made difference on the track, and Honda might bridge that gap in 2015. Problem is, that's not what happened. McLaren had more issues, than just the PU unit. Honda may or may not help, but it is not the only solution needed. I think they know that, which is why some people left, and others were invited to be part of recovery efforts.

Not in the next season, but maybe later.
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Re: McLaren Honda team in 2015

Postby Lawrence on Sun Dec 21, 2014 1:39 pm

Willie Caja wrote:Ok, I felt like this thread was needed. You see, all this drooling about Seb and Ferrari... well, something had to be done... :hihi:


Yes, the board does seem to have some very dedicated Vettel fans ;)

Will they be better than Williams? Red Bull? Will they present a challenge to Mercedes?


Well, this is an interesting question. I think everyone believes Mercedes will be first. On the other hand, Williams, Ferrari, and McLaren may very well be fighting over second. Williams is clearly on the rise, including getting more funding, so they are going to be a factor. Ferrari seems very determined to do something, but with their rather extended game of musical chairs, I don't really see how they can be ready for prime time at the start of the season. The big unknown is the Honda engine. If it is competitive, then I expect McLaren to be in the hunt. They do have the people there to make things work. It really depends on the engine, which we don't really know much about. And Red Bull......well looks like their engine is going to still be down on power and Newey is working much less than full time.....so is this a team in decline? We shall see.

But, the more interesting question will be 2016 ....which I am sure is where Honda and McLaren are looking.
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Re: McLaren Honda team in 2015

Postby Lyria on Sun Dec 21, 2014 4:12 pm

Alonso is talking like he suggests the team will take a while to gel and get to where they want it. In other words, don't expect them to be fast in 2015. I have no doubt Alonso wanted Button as his team mate so they can work together to develop the car, two heads being better than one and all that. Button will way mroe of a help in that department I would suppose.

So yeah, the Honda engine doesn't look that good yet, but they have time to work that out. They know this before the first official test so they have more time to sort it out than Renault did this year, saying that their engine seems worse than that was.

I hope they do well but I'm not expecting a lot. Will they be ahead of Red Bull and Williams? I doubt it somehow and Mercedes are still going to be the team to beat, Williams and Red Bull a close second probably. I'm hoping Ferrari will be up there too, some good races where we can't predict who will win would be awesome, but I'm hoping for that rather than believing we'll get it.
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Re: McLaren Honda team in 2015

Postby Gerhard Berger on Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:30 am

handful of podiums would be good.
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Re: McLaren Honda team in 2015

Postby Mach on Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:23 am

Willie Caja wrote:McLaren Honda team in 2015. Ok, I felt like this thread was needed. You see, all this drooling about Seb and Ferrari...
well, something had to be done... :hihi:

Agreed _O_
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Re: McLaren Honda team in 2015

Postby Lyria on Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:23 pm

Ron Dennis feels the Honda engine is fast but not reliable as yet. He really hopes that they can fix that in time for the start of the season. See if you have a choice, I'd rather have a fast but unreliable engine, rather than a slow reliable one, having said that if you can't get to the end of a race it doesn't matter how damn fast you are does it? On the whole reliability is easier to fix from what I understand of these things (which isn't always much I have to admit ;) )
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Re: McLaren Honda team in 2015

Postby Sakae on Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:19 pm

Lyria wrote:Ron Dennis feels the Honda engine is fast but not reliable as yet. He really hopes that they can fix that in time for the start of the season. See if you have a choice, I'd rather have a fast but unreliable engine, rather than a slow reliable one, having said that if you can't get to the end of a race it doesn't matter how damn fast you are does it? On the whole reliability is easier to fix from what I understand of these things (which isn't always much I have to admit ;) )


Problem is, that some of us (I am one of them) do not understand how token system is applicable to engine changes. For example, we know there is limited number of tokens engine manufacturer can use, but we do not know whether all changes, such as metallurgical procedures, geometry, or adding an element to the original configuration are permitted at all. Put it differently, we do not know whether reliability issues could be resolved without running into issues with restrictive regulations (used up all tokens before problems are fixed), thus hard to say how far Honda will go with their program. Tokens may or may not stop them, depends on relationship between nature of the issue, and whether token system kicks in.
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Re: McLaren Honda team in 2015

Postby Lawrence on Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:01 pm

Lyria wrote:Ron Dennis feels the Honda engine is fast but not reliable as yet. He really hopes that they can fix that in time for the start of the season. See if you have a choice, I'd rather have a fast but unreliable engine, rather than a slow reliable one, having said that if you can't get to the end of a race it doesn't matter how damn fast you are does it? On the whole reliability is easier to fix from what I understand of these things (which isn't always much I have to admit ;) )


Yep, usually much easier to fix reliability than slowness. If you are unreliable you may not win half the races you were supposed to. If you are slow....well, then there are no wins (especially as four teams out there are using the Mercedes engines). I am hoping that the problem with the Honda engine in unreliability (as I gather everyone believes there is a problem). At least they will be a factor if that is their only major problem.
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Re: McLaren Honda team in 2015

Postby Bourbon on Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:11 pm

I think they will have all of the reliability issues that the other teams experienced and thus, a slow start. But they may well improve quicker by virtue of having a season's worth of information to evaluate. A real wait and see prospect.

I actually have a question about the drivers. I heard that Button's salary was reduced. Does that mean that he is expected to take a #2 position in the team?
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Re: McLaren Honda team in 2015

Postby Mach on Sun Dec 28, 2014 1:50 am

Ferrari struggled...Renault struggled....and now Honda struggles.....WOW.....Mercedes has every right to stick to freeze the engines rules
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Re: McLaren Honda team in 2015

Postby Willie Caja on Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:39 pm

Mach wrote:Ferrari struggled...Renault struggled....and now Honda struggles.....WOW.....Mercedes has every right to stick to freeze the engines rules

Yeah, they lobbied hard for those specs...
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Re: McLaren Honda team in 2015

Postby pob on Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:09 am

Sakae wrote:
Lyria wrote:Ron Dennis feels the Honda engine is fast but not reliable as yet. He really hopes that they can fix that in time for the start of the season. See if you have a choice, I'd rather have a fast but unreliable engine, rather than a slow reliable one, having said that if you can't get to the end of a race it doesn't matter how damn fast you are does it? On the whole reliability is easier to fix from what I understand of these things (which isn't always much I have to admit ;) )


Problem is, that some of us (I am one of them) do not understand how token system is applicable to engine changes. For example, we know there is limited number of tokens engine manufacturer can use, but we do not know whether all changes, such as metallurgical procedures, geometry, or adding an element to the original configuration are permitted at all. Put it differently, we do not know whether reliability issues could be resolved without running into issues with restrictive regulations (used up all tokens before problems are fixed), thus hard to say how far Honda will go with their program. Tokens may or may not stop them, depends on relationship between nature of the issue, and whether token system kicks in.


Reliability upgrades can be done midseason just as under the v8 engine freeze.

The token system has been made to sound more complicated than it actually is by those team principals that want a "thaw" to help catch Mercedes.
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Re: McLaren Honda team in 2015

Postby Sakae on Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:08 pm

I do not wish to be presumptuous, but I am assuming that we are all, at least in abstract, familiar with cause and effect relationships dealt by reliability specialists. Point is made, that we do not know if every issue (cause) can be resolved within current token system. Put it differently, and as a way of example, Mercedes had some issues during Schumacher years, which they could not correct due to restrictive regulations, yet they were merely allowed to work around the edges, and they never recovered during a course of normal season.
Honda might very well find themselves potentially in similar position, which is why I think Boullier wants to have a way out, just in case it shall be required, and Honda PU/chassis design will required major overhaul. From memory, I do recall a season in which Kimi sat in an engine which often went into smoke during a race. I wonder if such case could be resolved today under tokens limitations.

Finally, Honda has really not been properly tested under racing conditions, they have only four, high performance, engines to last full season, and no one knows yet how chassis and PU will match in terms of drivability. Could be success, but it also could be also a path back to drawing board. Boullier has every reason wanting to keep his options alive, and available.
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Re: McLaren Honda team in 2015

Postby Mach on Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:37 am

Looks like Honda might get a break.

http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns29727.html
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