Why was the Infamous Honda RA107 Earth Dreams car so bad?

Post here all non technical related topics about Formula One. This includes race results, discussions, testing analysis etc. TV coverage and other personal questions should be in Off topic chat.
DarkAlman
DarkAlman
7
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:25 am

Why was the Infamous Honda RA107 Earth Dreams car so bad?

Post

Has it ever been explained from a technical perspective why the infamous Earth Dreams car was so bad?

What did Honda get so wrong with the design?

User avatar
Andres125sx
362
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:15 am
Location: Madrid, Spain

Re: Why was the Infamous Honda RA107 Earth Dreams car so bad?

Post

DarkAlman wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 4:28 am
Has it ever been explained from a technical perspective why the infamous Earth Dreams car was so bad?

What did Honda get so wrong with the design?
Yes, it was karma, a car that ugly should never be competitive :mrgreen:

ENGINE TUNER
ENGINE TUNER
23
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:07 pm

Re: Why was the Infamous Honda RA107 Earth Dreams car so bad?

Post

Aero correlation problems I believe, that is why it kept sprouting new appendages all the time. Their engine was NOT as efficient, powerful or reliable as the others as well.
Last edited by ENGINE TUNER on Tue Apr 21, 2020 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

wesley123
wesley123
237
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 4:55 pm

Re: Why was the Infamous Honda RA107 Earth Dreams car so bad?

Post

They had some serious correlation issues.
"Bite my shiny metal ass" - Bender

User avatar
FrukostScones
193
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 4:41 pm
Location: European Union

Re: Why was the Infamous Honda RA107 Earth Dreams car so bad?

Post

Andres125sx wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:58 am
DarkAlman wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 4:28 am
Has it ever been explained from a technical perspective why the infamous Earth Dreams car was so bad?

What did Honda get so wrong with the design?
Yes, it was karma, a car that ugly should never be competitive :mrgreen:
the livery was so hideous I wrote them an email to at least add some stripes the to successor.
Finishing races is important, but racing is more important.

User avatar
PlatinumZealot
518
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:45 am

Re: Why was the Infamous Honda RA107 Earth Dreams car so bad?

Post

Can you believe that this is the same Mercedes team? It took some time but Brawn really changed the entire organization hasn't he?
.. OG.. OG.. OG.. OG..

User avatar
strad
271
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:57 am

Re: Why was the Infamous Honda RA107 Earth Dreams car so bad?

Post

Right on the money Andres. =D> Way too ugly to be fast.
To achieve anything, you must be prepared to dabble on the boundary of disaster.”
Sir Stirling Moss

Manoah2u
Manoah2u
426
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:07 pm

Re: Why was the Infamous Honda RA107 Earth Dreams car so bad?

Post

PlatinumZealot wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:14 pm
Can you believe that this is the same Mercedes team? It took some time but Brawn really changed the entire organization hasn't he?
If you concider 2009's win with 'just' a Mercedes engine changed compared to what the team would have been in 2009 if Honda did not step out, then i don't think one should look at it like so 'much' has happened.
Rather, if Honda hadn't pulled the plug, but stayed in, then we could have seen Honda win the 2009 Championship, not BrawnGP. Yes, it would have been without Ross Brawn, but in principle, the car was the same.
There was a Mercedes engine obviously because there were no Honda engines available due to them leaving completely.
Was the Mercedes engine better than the Honda? Well offcourse it was, but first of all, even in 2009, Mclaren was Mercedes' works team, so the 'priority' stuff went to Mclaren, not BrawnGP to begin with. For example, in 2008, Force India had Ferrari engines, but were far from competitive, so it's not just 'the engine'. I also doubt that the 2008 / intended 2009 Honda F1 engine was so much weaker than for example the Renault engine in 2014 compared to the Mercedes engine.

What i'm saying then is that i'm pretty sure Honda would have made the same 'domination' in 2008 with a Honda V8 as BrawnGP did with a Merc V8. I'd even reason that Honda would have done an even better job in the end, because Honda's success would have meant the team would have kept financial investment, which is something BrawnGP completely lacked in 2009, which is why their original lead nearly diminished by the end of the season.

It would have meant thus that there would have been enough money to keep updating the car, so even IF the Honda V8 would have had ever so slightly less power than the 2008 Mercedes engine, both the engine development as car development would have kept them ahead, and without any doubt in my mind still seen them grab the 2009 World titles. Concidering we still had Jenson Button aboard, i think JB would still have gotten that title, even though Bruno Senna was meant to take the second seat (that of Barrichello) and we might even have seen another Senna title fight.

ponder on that very believable outcome (after all, if the 2008 economic crisis hadn't happened OR if Honda simply decided that despite the crisis, F1 would be a platform for exposure to keep selling cars, and thus stayed, that would have been exactly what would have happened) and then use your imagination on this picture, as it would have been all sorts of legendary, when, how things actually went down, that never happened:

Image

IF things panned out well for Honda, we would now have seen this:

Image

or this

Image

It would also have meant a couple of other significant things.
2010 would have seen the 'Honda Brawn' team be not in such 'bad' shape as the 'Mercedes Brawn' team in 2010 saw.
After all, Mercedes' shape in 2010 was because of the complete lack of funding in 2009 and subsequentially the lack of updates. Further more, Brawn himself most probably would never have ended up at that team. And we probably would have seen a 2010 battle of Honda vs RedBull.
It would also mean that Schumacher would NOT have returned, most certainly NOT with Brawn's Mercedes. PERHAPS we would have seen Brawn pop up @ Mclaren instead, and Schumacher would have went to Mclaren in a shock move.

Certain would have been that Mercedes never ended up at 'Brawn/Honda' and that brings us ultimately to the reason why 'Brawn' today is so succesfull: because it's got a Mercedes engine and all the Mercedes works organisation to their disposal. The 2014 Merc V6T was SO DOMINANT, and relatively still is, and that is the reason for 'BrawnGP's' success.

Had Mercedes stayed with Mclaren, and NOT started their own team (for example take over Force India), then 2014 would have seen a brutally dominating Mclaren instead, right untill now.

And i also fully believe, that despite 'honda's' success in 2009 (in this timeline), it's very concievable that despite better financial circumstances, it would not have meant they could have had a guaranteed 2010 success against a very strong RedBull. I rather think that in the end, RedBull would have just snatched the title, or just missed out on it, and by 2011 Honda would be slowly sliding back the pecking order, see Jenson OR Senna go to Mclaren after all, and see them (Honda) either leave F1 in 2012 or stop after 2013 anyway.

So long story short, i really don't think you can argue 'Brawn' turned the team around, nor that it's the 'same team'. It's vastly more a question of having the money and resources at hand. If Brawn came aboard in 2009 as Honda team principle, and if the team never had the double diffuser trick dominance, and Honda built a dominant V6TH engine like Merc has done, and Brawn stayed untill now, then i would say you are absolutely right.

Instead, Brawn has not been a part of the team for quite a long time. I also quite say that though Brawn definately had a impact on Mercedes' success, Toto Wolff must not be underestimated, nor Niki's presence, and i'm positive Schumacher had a part in its foundations too.
Dumpster sounds so much more classy. It's the diamond of the cesspools.

User avatar
PlatinumZealot
518
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:45 am

Re: Why was the Infamous Honda RA107 Earth Dreams car so bad?

Post

Two main pointers though!

Brawn was alreadt at Honda in 2008. So yes it was have still been Brawn's Honda.

The other thing for 2014... Brawn was the architect of those regulations! Thus, if Honda had stayed after 2008 and Brawn still being with them, had convinced them to start the 2014 Engine preparations just as early as we know that Mercdes did, we might have seen a dominating Honda Power Unit, harkening back to the late eighties. Mercedes without Brawn wouldnt have the leg up that they did, so actually McLaren might not been competitive at all! It would have just been two Hondas, Jenson and Bruno Senna battling it out for the championship as you say!
.. OG.. OG.. OG.. OG..

ENGINE TUNER
ENGINE TUNER
23
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:07 pm

Re: Why was the Infamous Honda RA107 Earth Dreams car so bad?

Post

PlatinumZealot wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:40 am
Two main pointers though!

Brawn was alreadt at Honda in 2008. So yes it was have still been Brawn's Honda.

The other thing for 2014... Brawn was the architect of those regulations! Thus, if Honda had stayed after 2008 and Brawn still being with them, had convinced them to start the 2014 Engine preparations just as early as we know that Mercdes did, we might have seen a dominating Honda Power Unit, harkening back to the late eighties. Mercedes without Brawn wouldnt have the leg up that they did, so actually McLaren might not been competitive at all! It would have just been two Hondas, Jenson and Bruno Senna battling it out for the championship as you say!
Brawn was not the "architect" of any regulations, he had no more input than anyone else there at the time. He has been a machinist, a mechanic and even done some aerodynamic work, but never as a powerplant engineer.

Teams that are behind tend to focus on future regulation changes, nothing new, been like that for a while, because it makes sense. Mercedes had a leg up on the KERS regs so it would follow that they would be ahead in the new hybrid era, it didn't take alot of figuring to realize that, what is more perplexing is how badly Ferrari and Renault dropped the ball.

Slo Poke
Slo Poke
2
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:14 am

Re: Why was the Infamous Honda RA107 Earth Dreams car so bad?

Post

That has to be the most accurately aware post I’ve ever read.

User avatar
PlatinumZealot
518
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:45 am

Re: Why was the Infamous Honda RA107 Earth Dreams car so bad?

Post

ENGINE TUNER wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:53 am
PlatinumZealot wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:40 am
Two main pointers though!

Brawn was alreadt at Honda in 2008. So yes it was have still been Brawn's Honda.

The other thing for 2014... Brawn was the architect of those regulations! Thus, if Honda had stayed after 2008 and Brawn still being with them, had convinced them to start the 2014 Engine preparations just as early as we know that Mercdes did, we might have seen a dominating Honda Power Unit, harkening back to the late eighties. Mercedes without Brawn wouldnt have the leg up that they did, so actually McLaren might not been competitive at all! It would have just been two Hondas, Jenson and Bruno Senna battling it out for the championship as you say!
Brawn was not the "architect" of any regulations, he had no more input than anyone else there at the time. He has been a machinist, a mechanic and even done some aerodynamic work, but never as a powerplant engineer.

Teams that are behind tend to focus on future regulation changes, nothing new, been like that for a while, because it makes sense. Mercedes had a leg up on the KERS regs so it would follow that they would be ahead in the new hybrid era, it didn't take alot of figuring to realize that, what is more perplexing is how badly Ferrari and Renault dropped the ball.
Maybe so. Guess I was influenced by rumours surrounding Brawn and the PU regs at the time. Anyway, Honda had a decent KERS package and the "Spool" gearbox ... It would bave been interesting to see how they would have developed leading up to the Hybrid.
.. OG.. OG.. OG.. OG..

ENGINE TUNER
ENGINE TUNER
23
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:07 pm

Re: Why was the Infamous Honda RA107 Earth Dreams car so bad?

Post

PlatinumZealot wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:12 pm
Maybe so. Guess I was influenced by rumours surrounding Brawn and the PU regs at the time. Anyway, Honda had a decent KERS package and the "Spool" gearbox ... It would bave been interesting to see how they would have developed leading up to the Hybrid.
Conspiratorial nonsense, there were representatives from every PU manufacturer involved, including Cosworth and Honda I believe, all led by Giles Simon representing the FIA, it is all well documented here on this site.

Spool gearbox? Do you mean the flybrid? Did they ever get that working? Did it hold enough energy? Weight? Source for any details?

Manoah2u
Manoah2u
426
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:07 pm

Re: Why was the Infamous Honda RA107 Earth Dreams car so bad?

Post

I'm not that surprised that Renault dropped the ball in 2014. It's not that Renault isn't capable, it's that it's been the common consensus for Renault the past decades. Renault left RedBull hanging with reliability issues more than once. You could argue that it was 'Magneti Marelli' who was responsible for the problems, but quite frankly,
it's part of the engine package. And even then, in the NA V8 era Renault was offered a engine development unfreeze so they could catch up to Ferrari and Mercedes as they were behind. I don't remember if Toyota was still around back then but i remember well that Renault was offered space to catch up. Hence, looking at how things panned out in 2014, i wasn't that surprised that Renault was so behind in pace. I was surprised to see just how bad of material Renault left RedBull with, including rusty bolts. But i wasn't surprised by their lack of pace.
I was very surprised with that of Ferrari though, and how long it took before they finally became 'competitive' again.
Likewise Honda surprised me. Even if it was partially due to Mclaren's excessive demands that impeded advancement, and organizational from Honda themselves partially too,
their unreliability was shocking.

This makes it all the more a big question mark whether Honda would have been able to provide a competitive engine in 2014 anyway. It seems they have now, finally. But it's rather doubtfull that they would have managed such a thing back in 2014 from the get-go,especially if they have had some success as of 2009, some wins, some championships under the belt. On one hand that could motivate them to do even better for the V6 era,
on the other hand they could have decided to just call it quits, like Toyota did.

Though i initially didn't recall that Brawn was @ Honda back in 2008, i do have to agree with Engine Tuner in that i doubt Brawn orchastrated Mercedes v6 hybrid powerplant domination. Then again, i might be wrong. Brawn managed to convince Mercedes back in 2009 to buy the team, get Schumacher aboard (he wouldn't have done that if there was no big prospect), shape the team, starting in 2010, and reap the benefits later on. They needed a Schumacher-esque driver to achieve that which is why when Schumacher decided to get out they needed a replacement asap and the right man for the job would be Lewis. Perhaps, very perhaps, Brawn, as good as he can influence the right people to be at the right place, especially because he managed to get Schumacher aboard, convinced Mercedes to step their game up (including investment) aswell to develop their V6TH engine.

So then perhaps yes, if Honda did not step out due to the economic crisis, Brawn could have convinced Honda to step up their game the way Mercedes did with the V6 engine.If that would have been the case, then yes, Honda dominance could have actually occurred. Would Brawn have attracted Paddy Lowe to come aboard? I think that's very possible.
If we continue from there, would Brawn still have decided to keep Barrichello aboard? Would he have let Bruno get a run?

Did Brawn always have this 'success' plan in his mind? the more i look at it, the more it makes sense he did.

Originally, Brawn was supposed to head out to RedBull, attract Alonso (a WDC winner and WDC capable top driver), to lay out a success formula.But he opted to go to Honda instead in 2008. Either he knew they would call it quits anyway and he had Mercedes in his mind all along, or he really believed he could make Honda work.
I'll keep it with the latter, since i don't believe in November 2007 there were any sights Honda was going to leave.

Which raises then the question, what was Brawn's plan? Repeat what he did at Benetton and Ferrari? Probably so.
He thus could have influenced people enough to invest in the same way Mercedes did, but in this case, with Honda.
The biggest question then would have been, regarding that though i do hold JB as a pretty great driver, and imo above Rosberg,I don't think JB fits the profile RB craves for his 'success Formula'. Though I think Bruno Senna did not get the chance he should have had,i neither believe he would have been capable to develop into Hamilton/Schumacher levels.

SO, Brawn then would have had a limited choice for his 'Nr1' driver: Alonso or Hamilton, or even still, Schumacher.

I don't actually think that Schumacher would have opted to go for Honda, despite the fact Brawn and co surely would have been a great lure.After all, Mercedes started Schumachers career so it's a different story to go along Mercedes over Honda after retiring on a high with Ferrari.Regarding Alonso, I think the same reason Brawn did not go to RedBull was because Fernando did not 'dig it'. Unfortunately the life story of Alonso:
not ending up the place he should have been. The prospect for Alonso to go to Ferrari surely would have been a far more convincing deal than any'story' Honda could come up with.

Which leaves us, interestingly enough, with the only person Brawn would have on his list, and surely had on his list: Hamilton.would Hamilton have gone towards Honda? I very much think that he did. He would still find himself in the same mess @ Mclaren. No wins ahead.Knowing how much he emulates Senna's career, and the success Ayrton had with Honda power, I think he could have been convinced to go to Honda,the same way he was convinced to go to Mercedes. The only harder part would have been that Hamilton's F1/GP career was thanks to Mercedes, so
it would have been a bigger step to take to completely wave that goodbye.

In the end, I think we would have either seen Hamilton probably switch with Jenson Button for 2012 or 2013. Perhaps even earlier.

Which means, that we still would have seen a similarly dominant Hamilton @ Honda like he is with Mercedes.
It would have made an interesting pair. Honda's 'earth dreams' and success with less grey 'corporate image' that Mecedes has,paired to vegan Hamilton. I think Niki still would have ended up @ Honda. I dont think Toto Wolff would have ended up @ Honda though,I rather think Toto would have went from Williams to Mclaren to replace Whitmarsh.
I don't believe Rosberg would have ended up @ Honda either, but probably at Mclaren instead.

So alongside Hamilton, who would have ended up there? Again, I don't really think Button would have stayed the course, nor do i believe Bruno Senna would have managed. Even if Bruno never arrived and Barrichello stayed, neither would Barrichello stayed aboard. So that leaves who for a decent Nr2 'wingman'? Though It would have been interesting and surely challenging to see Kamui Kobayashi in the 2nd seat, despite him being Japanse, i don't think he would ever been on Brawn/Honda's list. If the Nightclub incident never occurred, i think Sutil might have had a chance. Instead, Webber, Raikkonen, Delarosa or still even
Bottas could have made it.

Whatever the case, that timeline would have seen a different F1 grid alltogether, including vastly different ways the teams compose of compared to now.

Going back with the RA107, i think it's 'badness' is exegerated in certain aspects. From now and then every team makes mistakes, and that has it's consequence.As mentioned in regards to the flaws, yes, correlation issues, also in regards to the engine, and harder competition amplify things. I think the earth dreams livery
did not help by any means. Yes, it's an awkward livery. It did catch the attention though. Imagine if they won a few GP's, then we would have looked at it different. Now, it was not just that the 2007 Honda car was worse than the 2006 BAR Honda car, it also looked worse, so that amplifies the way we look/experience things.
Imagine this: if BAR stayed with Honda in 2007, the results would have been the same, and nobody ever mentioned the earth dreams livery.

if Honda implemented the Earth Dreams livery in 2009 with a dominating car, we would have looked at it vastly different.

That said, i do believe the 2007 Earth Dreams livery was bad, and the 2008 one was greatly better.
Dumpster sounds so much more classy. It's the diamond of the cesspools.

User avatar
PlatinumZealot
518
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:45 am

Re: Why was the Infamous Honda RA107 Earth Dreams car so bad?

Post

ENGINE TUNER wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:21 pm
PlatinumZealot wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:12 pm
Maybe so. Guess I was influenced by rumours surrounding Brawn and the PU regs at the time. Anyway, Honda had a decent KERS package and the "Spool" gearbox ... It would bave been interesting to see how they would have developed leading up to the Hybrid.
Conspiratorial nonsense, there were representatives from every PU manufacturer involved, including Cosworth and Honda I believe, all led by Giles Simon representing the FIA, it is all well documented here on this site.

Spool gearbox? Do you mean the flybrid? Did they ever get that working? Did it hold enough energy? Weight? Source for any details?
https://www.racecar-engineering.com/art ... evealed/3/

This thing...
Image
.. OG.. OG.. OG.. OG..