Honda’s outgoing F1 boss, Yusuke Hasegawa, confirmed the manufacturer’s use of outside consultants for engine development, a trend that will continue in 2018.
Faced with persistent under-performance and reliability issues since it joined F1’s hybrid era in 2015, Honda saw its partnership with McLaren progressively dissolve and ultimately implode.
The engine supplier’s revamped power unit introduced at the start of the year proved just as disappointing as its predecessor, enticing Honda to rely on outside help to extricate itself from the doldrums.
As Honda switches its allegiance to Toro Rosso for 2018, Hasegawa says its collaborative work with its partners, the identity of which he would not divulge, will continue.
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“We started many collaborations with other partners, the identity of which we don’t normally disclose,” Hasegawa told Motorsport.com.
“We can see results from that project. We will continue those collaborations. There’s no reason to stop. We even have to enhance the collaboration more.
“I understand most people think Honda has tried to do it by themselves. But it’s not right. We’re happy to invite outside resource, and we do.
“Of course there are some limitations and obstacles, such as the language barrier, the geographical barrier, and the item difference, so it’s not an easy job.
“We need to maximise our domestic performance. We have no objection to get outside resource. Naturally, it is increasing.”
Hasegawa, who will be replaced at Honda’s F1 unit by Yasuaki Asaki, is confident in the manufacturer’s ability to deliver a strong engine to Toro Rosso next season. Should complications emerge however, the company will rely on its current engine as a back-up plan.
“We haven’t decided next year’s complete specification but at least we have a back-up plan, which is the current engine,” explains the Japanese engineer.
“So I’m sure we can start the season well next year.
“We chose almost the same concept as other competitors so from that point of view, there is no reason why we can’t catch up with the others,” he said.
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