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Combustion energy is “main point” of Honda engine development

Max Verstappen at the Emilia Romagna GP. Credits: Red Bull Content Pool.

A Honda official has given a detail information about how the Japanese manufacturer has developed the power unit for the 2021 F1 season.

Despite the fact that Honda is leaving Formula 1 after the 2021 season, the engine manufacturer is still working on the power unit for both Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri. The Honda head of power unit development Yasuaki Asaki spoke about their approach to the engine.

“The original plan was to implement this new structure PU this year in 2021,” he said. “But then for a variety of reasons, it was decided not to proceed with a brand new PU. However, the thinking on this really changed when Honda announced that we would be leaving the sport.”

“I went to President Hachigo and said to him that we would really like to implement this new structure PU for our last year in the sport. And he kindly accepted that request.”

Asaki also described on what areas Honda worked for this season.

“That was never going to be an easy task, given the scope of the changes being made to the power unit’s architecture. First of all, we’ve changed the camshaft layout to be much more compact, and also brought its position lower down so it’s closer to the ground,” he commented.

“The main point of what we’ve changed was to improve combustion efficiency. In order to do so, we had to change the valve angle, and in order to do that, we had to change the camshaft. We’ve also had to make the headcover lower and more compact, which means that the way that air flows over it has become a lot better, and we’ve also lowered the center of gravity of the ICE.”

“Another thing we changed is the bore pitch, by reducing the distance between one bore and the next, we’ve made the engine itself shorter, smaller.”

“In the old engine straddling the transmission, we also had a bank offset whereby the left bank was slightly offset from the right bank. So what we’ve done is reverse this offset on the new engine so that the right bank is forward, and the left bank is back.”

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