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Old 8th December 2015, 23:16   #121
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Default Re: The 2016 F1 Season Thread

Everyone knows that 2015 will be an year that McLaren and Honda would like to put behind rather soon. However, not everyone acknowledges that the primary reason for Honda's lack of progress in-season is the "Token System" for PU development. I must say that I don't share the opinion that Honda are incompetent to take the fight to the Germans and the Italians. That way the voices that are optimistic for a McLaren resurgence are the ones against the tide and they look like the ones without reason if you decide to doubt Honda's credibility like most of the F1 fans seems to be doing this year.

The reason why I am optimistic for a 2016 revival of McLaren Honda is because I think that the performance deficit to the Front runners in the PU race can be closed significantly over the winter if Honda decides to change their PU substantially as hinted by the drivers and the team towards the end of the season.

If you analyze the Abudabi GP, it was the most competitive McLaren has been all year, even if you discount the engine mileage etc. During qualifying JB was 16th fastest in S1, 14th fastest in S2 and 8th fastest in S3, while being the slowest through the speed trap which shows the chassis in a good light even though it is obvious that they set up the car for more grip around the corners than outright speed.

In the latest F1 Racing mag Arai san says that Honda is seeking reliability in 2016. He has also said that the the compressor next year will be "probably about the same size more or less as Mercedes" but still in the V of the engine which sounds good from the aero point of view for McLaren. If you compare the size of the Honda turbo with the Mercedes one, although they’re both split and run between the V of the engine, the compressor and turbine sizes are dramatically different.
Another big issue Honda should be rectifying is their energy recovery and deployment issues. Key to this will be the redesign of the Turbine and MGU-H as it was evident from the last few laps of Alonso in AbuDhabi. It took ALO two laps of recharging the ES at 2:04.2 & 2:06.8 before he laid down the 1:44.8 lap, which points clearly to the problems they have and where the solutions will come from.
Although it is reasonable to expect Honda to make decent progress in race pace, it will be too much to ask of them to be at par with Mercedes especially in quali, where in it is thought that Mercs manage to run the entire lap with the waste gate open and MGU-H driving the compressor and turbine. With the new exh. exit rules coming in at 2016, it should be audibly clear if it is indeed the "trick up the Mercs' sleeve" apart from the more aggressive engine mappings.
I especially like the fact that Honda has categorically ruled out fitting the F1 PU behind any test mules (NSX-GT, Super Formula etc) off season. However, going by what I know about the the Japanese I am certain that Honda will be hardest working team through the winter. Hopefully they will have the results to show, come 2016.
Another major thing I liked about McLaren Honda through 2015 was the way they conducted themselves during the media sessions and the interviews. I see the frustrations and disappointments heard through the team radio as a sign that the drivers are still passionate about the job.

Obviously nobody stands still in F1 and all the teams have competent people working for them.
Interesting pre-season testing awaits us in 2016, me thinks.

Last edited by jfxavier : 8th December 2015 at 23:22.
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Old 9th December 2015, 10:18   #122
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@jfxavier; Yes, Honda development has been slower than I expected. I agree the token system has been a big hinderance. One must not forget that in the unrestricted 1.5l Turbo days, Honda were by far the most advanced, developing a reported 1100bhp and running on fuel which was essentially Toluene.

As for Renault they ushered in the Turbo age, since earlier the 1:2 ratio (1500 turbo, v 3000 normal) was considered unbridgeable. Most places worked at 1:1.5

I miss the scream of the dodeci-cilindri screaming at 21000rpm. That was nirvana.
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Old 9th December 2015, 10:28   #123
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Apart from Honda pulling up its socks, shirts, trousers, shoes, and everything else that they've dropped this year, I think McL also needs a new set of drivers. Age is against Alonso, and Button is way too pragmatic and "professional". They have always been more successful with giving breaks to people in F1, sort of the Minardi/sauber for champions.
Mika, Kimi, Lewis, all were picked up within a couple of years in F1, or directly.
Wish they find another Lewis, and wish the silver black is back!
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Old 12th December 2015, 08:23   #124
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Here's a good look at the now infamous Honda PU on the back of McLaren.
Shot at Honda Thanks day at Motigi and posted by Muramasa on the Autosport forum.

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I believe this is the first detailed shot at the T/C available.

The 2016 F1 Season Thread-hondapu6p.jpg

The exhaust soot wash around the waste gate opening area suggests that the waste gate is operating a lot, which would be the case considering the back pressure issues mentioned by Arai san during the in-season struggles to get the ERS working.
Anyways, Honda might be making some major changes for next year and that's why they don't really care about people taking pics up close.
Cudos to Honda for being the least secretive of all the manufacturers even during their struggles.
I hope they do succeed and that too soon.

Last edited by jfxavier : 12th December 2015 at 08:32.
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Old 13th December 2015, 14:37   #125
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Here are the links to the pages where the 2015 PUs are being analyzed.




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Old 14th December 2015, 14:41   #126
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Don't miss this
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Old 17th December 2015, 06:41   #127
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Originally Posted by anachronix View Post
Exactly the kind of games that happen in F1 alongside the racing during weekends when they have spare time.
The old fox Max is still around, in case anyone forgot him.
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Old 19th December 2015, 02:45   #128
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Seasonal Greetings!

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Old 27th December 2015, 08:33   #129
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Here is something to pass our time during the lull waiting for the pre-season tests.

Honda's Yasuhisa Arai interviewed by Yamaguchi Masami for Japanese site
- location: reception room on 2nd floor at Honda HQ in Aoyama, Tokyo
- date: unspecified, but perhaps 3rd week of Dec.

Source :

Pardon me for posting mostly on Honda's story, but I guess that's because that's the most interesting story at the moment for me.
Here are some of the interesting bits translated from the long interview.

Q: ...So I'd like you to explain widely, to let those people who are not involved/interested know that F1 is of such high quality thing, through Arai-san's comments. I'd like you to say something like "It's not something you can have it easy because quality is so high. We are in difficulty atm, but we'll get there definitely so please be patient". That way, we can look forward imo. But Arai-san's comment sounded like "it will get better soon".
Arai: I dont think it will be better soon (laughs)

Q: You weren't saying that way at first.
Arai: Declaring "it's completely impossible" in front of people's expectation at the very beginning stage equals that you betray all the expectation already, besides if I as a project leader said something like "Well, we should be helpless this year", it would be invalid/impossible/unsustainable world, not just for fans, but also for intra-company, as well as anyone who are actually involved with F1 project. I did say certain things to send out messages "that's where we are aiming at", "you've got to come up with solution/idea on how to close the gap by yourselves" in order to encourage/spur engineers at R&D, but I was always thinking we have to make effort to make people understand the degree of difficulty, and was actually trying to explain the difficulty and the struggle we were facing, accurately and little by little, on the way.

Q: Going for size zero, that is generally thought is impossible to be achieved, is about executing Honda Soichiro's principle "you cannot know whether it's possible or impossible unless you try it", right?
Arai: No, we are not doing it because you cannot know unless you try it, but because we are convinced that size zero is a must in order to win.

Q: So, if that intention/vision is made clear, it will be transparent that there is significant value in challenging itself, then that 80% people would grow such notion "don't know details but it's awesome anyway" as a result, I imagine.
Arai: I think that's impossible. I think people who have no interest in technology would not understand.

Q: One thing I'd like to make sure - ongoing development for next year is carrying over the concept of size zero?
Arai: Yes of course.

Q: So you are not changing concept
Arai: Not for now at least. Why, because there is no reason to change in regard to the direction in which we've been going throughout the year, and we cannot see any parts that can be better by changing. It's not like size zero is interfering/obstructing anything at all, so. To begin with, designing it compact is the basis of things, so if that is wrong then principles of everything not just size zero would be denied. To make machinery compact yields various advantages not just about chassis wise but also for many other aspects, but truth is that we are not able to take good advantage of it. So, method of placing the first year as a foundation and maturing it to develop the 2016 car is mutual agreement with McLaren. Maturing the platform by improving shortfall on Engine (PU) as well as chassis side including aero is the way we challenge for 2016.

Q: Isn't cooling the issue for/of size zero?
Arai: No, not at all.

Q: If that's the case, then what did you struggle about? What was lacking, what were reasons for not leading to good result?
Arai: Regarding what we are in charge of, reliability is one, engine output is one, and deployment issue is one. There is no single issue about cooling.

Q: I thought you were suffering from cooling issue due to the size zero concept that compromised packaging.
Arai: No, not at all. We've overcome that issue in the first few races.

Q: The talk is that Merc has advantage in cooling due to split design of turbine and compressor
Arai: I wouldn't buy that. That Merc solution is particularly beneficial for cooling is not true. We do not think Merc's layout is advantageous for cooling. Asked if there's any circumstantial evidence for the relation, I would say no. They are working on their own concept, and I don't believe there is any close relation with cooling itself.

Q: So why do you think Mercedes is such formidable?
Arai: That's because they have excellent reliability having managed to use only 4 PUs/season, have no deployment issue, have good engine output, as well as high potential of chassis (laughs)

Q: Why do they have such excellent reliability?
Arai: One thing is because they've had long development period.

Q: I predict Mercedes will advance even further for 2016, but McLaren Honda is catching up with them, is that right?
Arai: We think that we are not able to make proper fight unless at least catch up, so, we are trying to catch up while recognizing the gap.

Q: Speaking of Honda, I'd like to think "Honda = power"
Arai: We are not there at all yet in terms of engine output. It will be tough PU-wise unless everything - reliability, output, deployment and MGU-H - comes together.

Q: There is target figure set within Honda and you are getting closer to it?
Arai: Of course we are getting closer, but we acknowledge that there is still obvious gap b/w Mercedes.

Q: Ferrari is now getting extremely close to Mercedes?
Arai: No, I consider Mercedes is head and shoulders above the rest.

Q: At the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi, Alonso set 3rd fastest lap time in the race, also Vandoorne set fastest time in subsequent Abu Dhabi testing, so there are some positives. It looked like there was some light at the end of the season.
Arai: It's certain that setup of the car was heading in right direction during Abu Dhabi GP. Team as a whole was feeling positive overall including the fact that both drivers were similarly performing well in the end after having gap on the first day.

Q: Regarding the setup, I reckon that it's impossible to talk about setup properly until power unit start working normally.
Arai: That's correct

Q: Around the summer time, some irresponsible rumors spread, which went like "it's McLaren chassis's fault", but I thought that was quite ignorant opinion. It might be true that McLaren has not been on the top form in the past few years hence it's not probable that McLaren possesses the same level of potential as teams like RBR and Mercedes, but looking at it from Japan's side, making power unit decent is priority before talking about Mclaren, in my opinion.
Arai: Power train is what we are responsible for, so we must pull ourselves together, but in 3 days running of Abu Dhabi GP, there was no problem on engine side while we applied some tweaks. So I think we managed to achieve that as a result of improving car's overall balance more and more.

Q: Alonso's time of P9 in FP was within 1 sec from the top. Up until then, there was always a gap of at least 1.8 sec or so.
Arai: That's the matter of team effort not just engine, so, engine's contribution to the car's performance is one thing and what enabled the good form in Abu Dhabi is another, and there's quite a disparity b/w the two. We separate out these two elements.

Q: Conversely, suppose Mercedes is 100, where is Honda?
Arai: That will be self assessment (laughs). As a matter of reality, we've fought 19 races for one year and haven't even gone through to Q3 single time. Thus, we are not yet at the level where we can give score to ourselves. We as a team are not even able to go into top 10 at Quali, so realistically, to be able to go into Q3 is the first step that we have to achieve in 2016.

Q: I can see it in detail at last (laughs)
Arai: If I said here now "we will be on podium next year", some people would think it's nonsense. I don't think it's easy either, and in order to display our comprehensive capability, it's essential to provide solid power unit, gain good mileage and take more time for raising the car's performance. Regarding where we'll place the target, I think we can no way say we'll aim for win when we haven't even managed to make it into Q3 yet. Before the 2015 season started, we sure had aspiration of wanting to be on front row, or closer to the front, but as a matter of reality, when saying such things, we were realizing that we were far from reaching that level yet. However at the same time I didn't want to discourage fans supporting us into thinking "totally hopeless", so to some extent we had to say something cheerful, or rather we had to affirm the target we were sharing within the team by declaring/proclaiming "that's where we are aiming for", in order to encourage/inspire ourselves as well.

Q: I see
Arai: So we are extremely angry/frustrated at ourselves. There is this gap out there, and finding out how to close the gap as quickly as possible is what we have been working on. And we are made to realize that the gap hasn't narrowed much through one year of challenge. There, regarding the objectives of 2016, if we said "we are going to be on podium" here now, some might think "you must have realized the reality after one year of experience but still say the same thing again". We've already felt the pain so harshly in the very early stage of 19 races, so we are aspiring to move up the field even by one position. We will be explaining/showing that it is getting better, but if we said something abrupt/audacious like "get on podium", then we would lose fans supporting us. That's what I think now.

Q: Engine output, reliability and deployment. Which element is lacking the most?
Arai: All of them actually (laughs), 1/3 for each.

Q: ICE is there or thereabout among the field, but increasing output sacrifices reliability, or something like that?
Arai: Of course something like that happens, where the parts that has been fine previously are not fine anymore if you increase the output level. However it's deployment issue that disappoints fans the most, isn't it. 120kW of power becomes zero in the middle of straight, so for example when you can add 160bhp to 300bhp, you are forced into a situation where you cannot use that additional 160bhp. Actual horse power is higher than that, but that's how things are like, so you get passed so easily.

Q: in terms of laptime, the difference doesn't become that big actually, but if you see the moment of overtaking, it looks extremely huge.
Arai: That's right. It dishearten the fans so much, also such scene is so explicit, so it looks completely hopeless. But if you look at lap time, the difference is not as big as what it looks like actually, but it is symbolically plain to see, so. From spectators viewpoint, deployment not running out is such important factor. Of course in order for overtaking, we cannot fight with deployment that runs out. We reckon that we wont be able to fight properly unless we work out all 3 elements. You told me while ago that we were giving the impression that we're not running much. That's the issue of the reliability, sure at least it's not so good to halt a session by trouble, so that's the first thing to overcome. There's another matter to address in output, but solving deployment issue is vital/urgent.

Q: Getting into Q3 as a first target sounds underwhelming, but only 10 cars can go through, so it would be nice if more people understand how high level it actually is.
Arai: You get thrown out by just 0.x seconds, so I would like that to be understood more for sure.
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Old 29th December 2015, 05:07   #130
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Shape of things to come?

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Analysis of 2016 possible changes to the F1 cars by Will Tyson.
Source :

Starting with the nose, it was clear that the grid was divided between long and wide, short and stumpy, and short with a thumb tip extension. The latter design was the most popular choice as it allowed the neutral section of the wing (in the centre) to remain completely exposed to oncoming airflow whilst increasing the volume beneath the nose for which flow could pass into.

In 2016 I believe this will again be the most common solution, although I do not expect every team to rush to it. As we saw with Ferrari, the car is built around one particular design so there it may not be beneficiary to change it. The process of designing the car for the next season starts very early on, so we could see some cars optimised around the longer or stumpy shapes.

The front wing is an expensive region of development for everyone at the moment, and Mercedes changed the game once again in 2015 by creating two clear segments of the wing with an aggressive arched profile at the outboard section. I expect most of the teams to migrate towards this – the likes of Ferrari and Williams have already made some strides to keep up but I predict some very intricate craftsmanship here.

Further back, I think the biggest area of progression will be the sidepods and engine cover bodywork. The teams have become increasingly more confident in running smaller bodywork as the power units have become less reliant on large cooling apertures, so with further gains in the thermal efficiency of the engines over the winter we could be seeing some lovely shapes next year. I anticipate a lot more shrink-wrapping around the internals, which we started to see this year as blisters were made into the engine covers to clear the back of the engine/gearbox oil cooler. This could result in reduced sized airbox inlet, yet possibly accompanied by the return of smaller ‘ear’ inlets eitherside of the roll hoop as these are less aero critical than the profile of the sidepods.

There should be further improvements made around the floor ahead of the rear tyre, with a variety of arranged slots diverting the turbulence that normally impinges on the diffuser away from such an aerodynamically sensitive region. This, alongside the development of vortex alignment along the sides of the splitter (Y250 vortex projected from the front wing) and the floor, should also equate to higher rake angles and thus more rear downforce.

The biggest visual change for next year will be the addition of at least one (maximum of two) secondary exhaust pipe. These redirect the wastegate gases away from those passing through the turbine of the turbocharger in an attempt to increase sound levels. It is unclear whether their orientation at the back of the car – which can either be to the side or above the main exhaust pipe – will have any performance benefits, particularly when considering the design of the Y100 (or Monkey Seat) winglet immediately behind/above.

These alterations will have an impact on the design of the rear wing and its endplates, too. In my design I have opted for an advanced version of what Mercedes (and occasionally Red Bull) were using for 2015, with three tall vertical slots made into the base of the ‘plate and heavy sculpting to manipulate the airflow, forcing it upward. It will be interesting to see if the succession of horizontal slots made into Ferrari’s endplates just above the floor will carry over into 2016 as they were not seen on any other car.

Finally, the diffuser may not see too much attention as the 2017 regulations will be hugely different in this area, but we shall assume that further flick-ups and Gurney flap arrangements will pop up here throughout next year to fine tune the up/outwash of the air as it expands out from beneath the car.
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Old 29th December 2015, 11:08   #131
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Nicely written piece on Ron Dennis:

He is all in!
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Old 11th January 2016, 15:31   #132
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Haas car passes F1 crash test ahead of testing:

The first car to be raced by Formula 1 newcomer Haas has passed the mandatory FIA crash tests ahead of the start of pre-season testing next month.

The American team, which has entered into a partnership with Ferrari enabling it to obtain non-listed parts and an engine from the Italian manufacturer, becomes the 11th team on the F1 grid this season.

Team owner Gene Haas recently said the decision to defer its entry until 2016 had effectively given the new squad "too much time" to prepare for its debut, and it has passed the FIA crash tests with more than one month to go until testing starts.

"Passed FIA crash tests. Next up testing," the team posted on its Twitter account.

Team principal Gunther Steiner told Autosport late last year that the decision to start the season earlier - moving the Australian Grand Prix from April 3 to March 20 - had given Haas an extra challenge.

"It hasn't made things easier," said Steiner. "But we're not getting worried.

"It's the same for everyone. It happened and you need to deal with it.

"Does it make it cheaper? No, but this is what we are dealing with.

"The project is on track and we're confident we'll have the car ready for testing."
Source: Autosport
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Old 28th January 2016, 14:37   #133
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Mclaren engine problems continue in the Pirelli's wet test as Stoffel, 2015 season ghost looks to haunt the team this season as well.

McLaren's engine problems continued on the first day of Pirelli's wet test as Stoffel Vandoorne's MP4-30 broke down, Vandoorne confirmed that it was an issue with the car's Honda engine that caused him to stop.
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Old 28th January 2016, 15:12   #134
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Originally Posted by sajands View Post
Mclaren engine problems continue in the Pirelli's wet test as Stoffel, 2015 season ghost looks to haunt the team this season as well.
During the tests, he was in the 2015 car, with the same 2015 spec. engine. So how can the 2015 'Ghost' be too far
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Old 29th January 2016, 00:05   #135
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Kevin Magnussen is set to replace Pastor Maldonado at Renault's new Formula 1 works team for the 2016 season, Autosport has learned.

Sources have confirmed Magnussen is poised to sign a deal over the next few days, before being officially confirmed at Renault's launch in Paris next Wednesday.

Autosport understands the move follows a disagreement between the French car manufacturer and Maldonado's long-time sponsor PDVSA, Venezuela's state-owned oil and gas company, that has led to the contract being dissolved.

It is believed a very small window of opportunity still exists for the two parties to return to the negotiating table, sign a new deal, and for Maldonado to retain his seat.

But with such a move highly unlikely, Renault has turned to Magnussen.

The 23-year-old is now on the brink of returning to F1 four months after being informed by McLaren, on his birthday, he was no longer required as reserve driver.

Maldonado will almost certainly end up out of F1 after five seasons, three with Williams and then two with the Lotus team that Renault has acquired.

There are still two seats available at Manor, where Magnussen was apparently one of a handful of drivers in the frame, as the team has yet to announce its line-up.

A Manor move for Maldonado now would require late negotiation work with PDVSA, if it remains his backer.

While the $46million in sponsorship would naturally be welcome to a team such as Manor, the political and economic instability in Venezuela - the latter on the back of plunging oil prices - may make PDVSA wary of returning to F1.

The about-turn on Maldonado comes despite the fact Lotus confirmed he would stay on for a third year at last September's Singapore Grand Prix.

At the time Lotus was in the middle of talks with Renault regarding the takeover deal.

After some deliberation, Renault eventually decided it was happy for Maldonado to retain his seat and for PDVSA to provide sponsorship.

But as time progressed and Renault took stock of its situation, it and PDVSA became involved in a dispute over funding.

It resulted in talks taking place between officials from both sides in Venezuela a fortnight ago, but with no common ground, PDVSA has this week opted to bring matters to an end.

As a contingency, Renault held discussions with Magnussen that are now reaching a conclusion.

Magnussen, who had a full season with McLaren in 2014 before being demoted to reserve as the team opted for Jenson Button to retain his seat alongside new arrival Fernando Alonso, will partner Jolyon Palmer at Renault.

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