Obviously, it's aerodynamically advantageous to eliminate one strut hanging out in the air. So Honda decided that they had an issue that forced some sacrifice of positive aero advantages. Lowering the rod does lower the center of gravity, especially the steering gear inside the chassis. As well, structurally, having a rod push or pull from the middlle balances the loads, and you have better chances of avoiding unwanted flex. Maybe they had problems with bump steer or something, and discovered the uprights were being fed assymetric loads, which caused unwanted flex.
Yes, it seems like the aero penalties would be pretty severe, but it is tucked behind the front wing, so it's in somewhat dirty air.
I was looking on McLaren's site and found this on trackrods:
The component is manufactured from carbon fibre for extra stiffness and strength. To appreciate why, you need look no further than the slow-motion replays of the cars’ wheels banging over the kerbs in a grand prix.
“If you look at a telemetry trace of the loadings on a track rod, you can clearly see the peak loads as it hits the kerb,” reveals Robinson. “It has a very severe fatigue cycle because the loadings switch from compression to tension very quickly.”
It is obviously ideal to have it mounted in the center, but it could also help
relieve some bump steer by being so low.
Didn't Jense have a problem with some of the kerbs last year? In Canada he crashed out because he hit the previous two kerbs so hard. What did they call that 'The Wall of Champions' or something? Because Alonso hit it
the previous year, I think.
Maybe Honda's just trying to make the part bulletproof. They have a
tendency to do that.
I love to love Senna.