Honda has been an actively involved in several motorsports most notably Single Seaters and Motorcycle Racing. The Japanese company have been pretty successful in all classes but recently, their performance in Formula One has been going downhill. So much, that their engines completing a full race distance without breaking down has become a very rare sight.
But why isn’t Honda able to make a faultless engine?
Why are they not able to overturn their power and reliability deficit?
The answer is simple: Honda just doesn’t get hybrids.
Honda is a company that specializes in combustion engines without any electronic interference and when electricity gets involved with the power unit, things don’t go well for the Japanese company.
Look at the late 80’s for an example. Every top team were found to be approaching Honda for their engines because they were undoubtedly the best. Their engines had Constructors’ World Championship Success every year from 1986 to 1991! This was the period when there were no Hybrid engines and their supremacy is open for all to see.
Honda have also been very successful in other motor racing series as well. In MotoGP, Honda have been the most successful team in the modern era, winning 8 Riders’ World Championships and 5 more before the start of the modern era (before 2001). In Indycar, cars powered by Honda engines have won 9 Championships and 11 Indy 500s! That’s quite a great CV!
What may be a big boost for Honda is the 2021 Engine Regulations, with the new engines being faster, cheaper and louder. Now, in order to make the engines cheaper, they will have to be simpler.
The easiest and best way to make the Formula One engines simpler is to get rid of the Hybrid technology and to make the run completely on Internal Combustion.
If this happens, this would be the biggest blessing for Honda because as I previously mentioned, Honda specializes in non-hybrid engines. But, they can’t be sitting in Formula One making almost no progress and hoping that the 2021 regulations will benefit them.
Now that Sauber has also decided to use Honda engines for 2018, it will be better for McLaren, Sauber and above all, for Honda.
This is because the Japanese company will now have four cars to collect data from instead of two and this will majorly help them as they, being a company of top stature can analyse the data, find the weakness, devise solutions and work on it. Honda, being one of the biggest automobile companies in the world should not experience much issues externally as they have a huge financial backing and also they have enough labour to work on the same.
The deal with Sauber proves that Honda are very well committed to Formula One and are determined to make amends to their engine issues. If things just click and Honda make that perfect power unit, for which they very well have the ability, Honda can be a force to reckon with.