Five months ago, Honda confirmed what the Formula One fraternity had been waiting for since the 90s: it was returning to F1, and yes, it would partner McLaren.
We immediately got gooey-eyed and began recalling Senna, Prost and that MP4/4 that damn near dominated in 1988. Just listen to this for a McLaren/Honda stat attack: between them, they had 80 GP starts, registered 53 pole positions, 44 victories, set 30 fastest laps and scored eight world championships (four drivers’ titles, four constructors’ titles).
Well, we have been taught an abject lesson in how to count our chickens this morning, because, following Mercedes’ audio of its 2014 V6 a few months back, Honda has just released a clip of its forthcoming 2015 Formula One engine. And, well, a V10 it most certainly is not.
Of course, you’ll cry, this is silly to point out, what with Formula One heading for turbo’d 1.6-litre V6 engines with energy recovery systems next year. Truth be told, the entire Formula One grid is heading towards this lawnmower-spec buzz; a buzz that could signal a very different era of racing. And there’s a deeper significance still when you consider the reason for these smaller, more efficient, cleaner turbocharged engines. Should F1 be about economy and efficiency or big hairy racing cars that sound like thunder? Discuss.
Anyway, we’re told that this Honda engine “is still being developed for the 2015 season where Honda will participate under a joint project with McLaren”, and of course, under race trim and with everything rigged up for maximum attack on a race weekend, it could all sound so very different.
Have a listen above, and then tell us it’s not a hedge trimmer. Or lawnmower. Or exorbitantly powered vacuum cleaner. And there we were, all fired up over Honda’s simply excellent video recreating Senna’s 1989 Suzuka GP at night, using telemetry from the race and lots of lights to make something a bit spine-tingling…