I think that RBR experience in working together with the Japanese Culture and Mentality is a big plus.
Tost, Hartley and Gasly have experience in working alongside Japanese Engineers.
And not the least, but most important, Jos Verstappen has surfaced in a more intensive role at RBR. He has hands on experience with a Honda F1 racing team.
Al in all it looks the pieces of the puzzle falling together or Honda to get this Program firmly on 'wheels'.
First of all with RBR/STR the Honda engine gets its milk back: Exxon Mobile.
The engine was developed alongside Exxon Mobile as liquid supplier...
McLaren making a last moment switch to another brand was not helping at all.
With the precarious balance of designing an engine, changing fuel suppliers was setting back Honda back to square one.
Second, Honda also gains access to RBR racing technology. Most important they get access to (the first and till now only) Full simulator connected to a full car test rig.
How important is that testbed? Ask Renault, they know it outperforms theirs....
RBR is also assisting with F1 specific expertise through a diversity of side doors towards Honda.
This close cooperation indicates a teaming up more intensive then visible to the outside.
To finish. As I understand from the Dutch Forum; Honda has been given 'free hand' to use STR as a live engine testbed in the first half year.
STR will take any penalty deemed necessary to help Honda forward. In the long run this is beneficial for both Honda and RBR.
The rumor is that/when Honda is able to develop the engine to be more reliable as the Renault, RBR can take the blunt move to incorporate the Honda Engine in the 2nd half of the 2018 season.
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