It’s no secret that Honda has been having some trouble getting its Formula One engine program up to speed. Three seasons into its return with McLaren and it’s not just down on power, but on reliability as well. Now it turns out that it could get some assistance from one of its biggest rivals.
According to Autosport, Honda is working on a consultancy deal with Mercedes, which could help the Japanese manufacturer figure out where it’s going wrong and put it on the right path.
The arrangement is expected to focus on electronics and the electric portion of the hybrid powertrain. Of course Mercedes would stand to benefit financially from the deal which would capitalize on the wealth of experience it’s accrued from dominating grand-prix racing for the past three years running.
Meanwhile collaborating with Mercedes, even indirectly, would be nothing new for McLaren, which used Mercedes engines for 20 years – even in a quasi-works arrangement – before bringing Honda back into the game, and was even rumored recently to be considering a switch back.
Mercedes isn’t the only resource Honda is apparently bringing to bear on its F1 engine program, either. “We have been doing everything we can do,” Honda’s F1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa told Autosport. “We are utilising every source from outside.”
That is rumored to include Ilmor, the motorsport powertrain engineering consultancy that helped found Mercedes’ F1 engine department in the first place. “We don’t disclose any consultants or supplier,” said Hasegawa-san, “but we are using lots of outside resource.”