Mat-tes wrote: ↑
Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:29 am
The new regulations in addition with the switch to a different engine makes it rather difficult to foresee what might happen next year, but there's been some interesting comments about Honda and their relationship to Red bull.
Beyond reliability, Red bull clearly stated they want more power from the engine, and regardless of the solution employed, Honda shouldn't worry about its packaging and Red bull would compensate on the design of the car to accommodate more power (basically the opposite of the size zero at McLaren).
After having seen the recent Aston martin Valkyrie engine presentation, it's clearly pointed that Adrian Newey is not only guiding aero, but also very aware of engine packaging.
My point is, it's lovely from Red bull to say "do your best engine wise Honda, we can compensate on the car", but I highly doubt they would pass on the opportunity to package the car as aggressively as possible from the start.
Their packaging (in my opinion) as been causing them more issues on the Renault engine than the two other team, already in the v8 era they had reliability issues (2009, 2010). But that's most likely because they are asking more of the engine than anybody else (drilled holes during winter testing are a good example).
Based on that, are they going to keep their X-wing side-pod arrangement, make it more extreme or find something else? I do think that design allows for more freedom than a more conventional side impact structure layout.
In an ideal situation, with enough power from the engine they don't need to be that aggressive on their gearbox and internals, creating a virtuous circle of performance and reliability.
If both parties are open for mutual change, the result will be almighty on the track.
Realistically, with the one year continuous test of the engine by Torro Rosso, by now they should have a descent idea of what's what and be able to integrate it early enough in the drafting of the 2019 chassis.
Some references in case some need them:
https://fr.motorsport.com/f1/news/red-b ... t/3195390/
(Engine packaging. French article)
(Valkyrie video, it's worth watching everything)
According to Helmut Marko, Red Bull were already able to reach this year's levels of downforce with the 2019 front wing and they were able to do that quite some time ago.
And then the news of them telling Honda that they basically have free reign over the engine dimensions for 2019 came out and I immediately thought to myself "what if they're quite a step ahead of everyone else in the development of the 2019 car?"
Think about it, tight packaging and pushing the engine right to the very limits has been a marquee feature in the concept of the red bull car for many years. There's a little bit of Renault's engine to blame there but mostly it's a trait of Adrian Newey. So for them to change this philosophy is quite odd.
I think Red Bull has found something. 4 months ago they were talking about 2019 being a transition year and they've gone from that to openly declaring a title challenge. Even Helmut Marko is acting confident. But there have also been rumours in the f1 paddock that the rb15 is going to be right up there next year.
Here's an interesting quote from Helmut:
We have planned the title. The Honda engine already has more horsepower than the Renault. And what's coming should be enough so that we can ride on our own in the front.
And then another quote where he talks about the 2019 regulations basically being worthless.
https://www.auto-motor-und-sport.de/for ... ingeplant/
We had planned the completion of the car earlier this year. We want to do that next year too. Now came even the pointless regulation change to the front wing, which costs us around 15 million euros. As far as the downforce is concerned, we are already more or less at the current level. And the overtake problem has no effect. We do not need to talk about the budget cap when making such decisions
English translation in my quotes was from a user on reddit.
I think red bull is absolutely going to be up there with Mercedes and Ferrari next year and it wouldn't surprise me if they start 2019 with a very strong package.
The rb14 is in my opinion the best chassis for the 2018 season and since the second half of the season it's looked very strong as well as being exceptionally friendly on its tyres. Also red bull will have all the data that they need on the Honda engine directly from Toro Rosso which is a huge bonus.
The Honda engine itself, yes there is a question mark on the reliability and even though that most of the grid penalties were developmental I still can't believe that the engine is entirely bulletproof, but I do not believe we can use Honda's past track record with reliability as a basis for 2019 as the engine has gone through quite some substantial changes structurally to boost reliability. There is also a significant difference in size between the 2017 engine fitted in the McLaren and the 2018 engine fitted in the Toro Rosso. It is very visible that on the 2017 engine the size was indeed compromised for the McLaren packaging.
This year they had Toro Rosso work around their engine when it came to packaging and it seems to have done the trick. At the size that the Honda engine is now, it is much more durable overall.
This is why I think red bull isn't going to mess with that formula. Just let Honda do their thing.
When it comes to power, they seem to have a "qualifying mode" that works decently and in my opinion from what I've seen over the course of the year is that their engine is more powerful than the Renault engine in qualifying however it struggles to consistently deliver a high level of performance during the race.
This mean's that their max power is quite good however they're unable to consistently deliver it over the entire race length.
There could be a bunch of issues causing this, the engine could be too heavy on fuel, it could be due to ERS problems which Honda had in the past, or it might be something else (Honda are investing heavily on the turbo right now)
I think that by the start of 2019, Honda should have the engine at a solid all round performance, and while it most certainly will not be as strong as the Mercedes and Ferrari engines they will definitely be a lot closer and I dare say they could potentially be quite a bit ahead of Renault who are using an entirely new concept engine in 2019 and that may cause some difficulties.
I have been very bullish about the red bull Honda partnership ever since it was announced and I do believe it can win the title next year.
I don't want to say something outrageous and say that they WILL win the title, but most of the time when there's a regulation change, something unexpected happens.