Honda has many bits of useful information that the other engine manufacturers could not use--
They may have bought some consulting and IP from the PURE and Cosworth engine programs. Breaking out the checkbook may buy useful perspective. I think they are at least using people from the PURE program.
From their partner McLaren, they know how much power a competitive engine makes. They will also know the contribution from the direct IC, MGU-H and MGU-K portions.
They know the split-turbo arrangement of Mercedes seems to work well for overall packaging and speed. They will have good perspective on this from McLaren also.
They know that in-car rather than dyno testing is critical (even more than in previous years) to test the real-world power and reliability of the engine. Expect a strange NSX to appear on Honda's Suzuka test track.
They know that planning and integrating the cooling with the constructor (McLaren) is very important. There are many miscellaneous things to cool, unlike the old V8's where you could spec cooling for water and oil then throw the engine over the wall at the constructor.
They know that the other powertrains all have weight issues to some degree or another. So they know if they are a bit overweight then it's not the end of the world, but if they can truly nail the weight target then they will have a competitive advantage.
They know that the current engines all dwell in the lower end of the 10,500-15,000 rpm "full-fuel" range, specifically 10,000-12000 with occasional spurts to 13,000 rpm.
They know the FIA fuel-flow meter may have a small variation in performance depending on how it's integrated in the car. They will want to research this in a calm, systematic way.
It might be worth their while to buy 100-200 FFM's over the course of this year and then try to measure them (somehow) in a really accurate way to determine which have been built or calibrated in such a way as to allow a tiny bit more power in-car. Basically take the advantageous end of the variance. Buy them over the course of the year so they come from different build and calibration lots, and therefore probably have more variance. But of course all engine manufacturers are probably doing this already, so no advantage, just "catching up".
This information and more constitutes a large technical advantage for Honda. I think their fundamental difficulty is hiring and assembling and managing the large new technical organization that will do this. I heard R&D started in Japan, but some will be done at the new England base? Mercedes may have enlarged their staff for the effort, but they already had a successful base to build from (Mercedes Benz High Performance Engines, formerly Illmor).
Last edited by bill shoe on Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.