Since Marko mentioned Honda's battery is still behind on Mercedes, I thought bringing this point up might be of some relevance along with the deadlines dates for development freezes.
Red Bull Racing CEO Helmut Marko, however, is looking for the answers from a different angle: “Honda has made progress, but in terms of electrical energy, Mercedes is still the strongest,” he told the German. Sport1. “We have to work on that. Honda has replaced a number of engineers, possibly that caused the sudden problems.”
Honda's future in Formula 1 is also far from certain. At the moment Honda will remain in Formula 1 at least until 2021, but as of the new regulations it is not yet clear which engine Red Bull can use. ''That decision will be made at the beginning of October," says the Austrian.
ispano6 wrote: ↑
Thu Sep 03, 2020 6:29 pm
The focus is on battery development and the challenges of Honda developing their own battery system. Honda continues to develop the battery system and has been working around the Covid restrictions on ensuring team communication for remote employees doesn't hinder battery development. Only a handful of employees are able to physically be in the workplace developing the batteries
, and communication technologies and an increased focus on improving English language competency has been key areas during the Covid era.
Wouter wrote: ↑
Fri Aug 21, 2020 11:49 am
Negoro-san speaking, living in the UK since mid-2016, responsible for the development of the energy storage system (battery) that is part of the F1 hybrid system at HRD-UK, the British race base of Honda F1.
The current Honda power source is basically all developed at HRD-Sakura in Japan, but the only battery development here is at HRD-UK
. This is because it is more efficient to do it in Europe, where tests are held, due to restrictions imposed by transport regulations. The assignment imposed on me during my stay in Japan and from the second half of 2016 in the UK was the independence of HRD-UK as a development base for batteries.
HRD-UK's current battery development team consists of a number of expatriates and many local members. When HRD-UK was first launched in 2014, there was only one building, mainly as a base for race members and PU maintenance teams, but in 2016 it was expanded to two. Since I was stationed, I hired staff for battery development / design / testing / assembly / purchase, etc., and gradually expanded the number of people to become an independent development base. Considering that I was the only battery developer in the beginning, I am deeply moved by the fact that we have grown to this size.
After a long period of development, we are very happy to have been able to introduce the first compact and lightweight battery that we produced ourselves.
We have all experienced the joy surrounding that milestone. I'm glad we were able to do our bit for Red Bull by developing a compact and light battery.
The rules for 2020
Within 2020, there are two possible freeze dates. The first, known as R1-2020, goes from the earliest date between the date of FP1 of the first race of the 2020 championship, or 1 September.
The second freeze deadline, known as Mid-2020, is the earliest date between the date of first practice of the eighth round of the 2020 season, or 15 October.
In essence, key components such as the chassis and gearbox that rarely change anyway are frozen at R1-2020, while some aero, inboard suspension and other parts that are usually more subject to development have more flexibility, face a later freeze.
The list of reasons why certain changes can be made after the freeze dates include minimal changes for safety, reliability or cost reasons, changes for driver comfort, or for the installation of a new driver and those "due to regulation changes, legality fixes or the installation of FIA-mandated components".
However, any change must have no performance or weight improvement and will require FIA approval.
The token system
Teams are allowed to deploy two tokens to modify components after the freeze dates. However, they have to take three steps, within deadlines known as D1, D2 and D3.
D1, D2 and D3 are different in the cases of R1-2020 and Mid-2020 frozen components – for example D1 for the former is five days after the shutdown (which is within the next week), and for the latter it's "the Wednesday following the third competition of 2020, but no later than 1 October 2020".
The FIA makes it clear that teams should be sure they really want to deploy their tokens, as there are no second chances if they change their minds on a development route.
Teams are allowed to revert to the original spec, but those tokens cannot be re-used.
It's clear that a lot hinges on the Oct 1~15 deadline.