Honda has revealed that it was caught by surprise with how bad its situation was ahead of the new Formula 1 season, as reliability woes had not shown up in dyno testing.
The Japanese manufacturer endured a difficult start to 2017, with a lack of power and poor reliability hampering its efforts and threatening its future partnership with McLaren.
Although it has made some progress since – finally scoring its first points of the year at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix – it is still facing big pressure to make further gains.
Reflecting on the season so far, Honda’s F1 engine chief Yusuke Hasegawa said his company had been aware that progress on the power front had not been as big as had been hoped before pre-season testing, but it was the reliability factors that especially caught it out.
In an interview published on Honda’s F1 website, he said that it was only when the company’s 2017 engine ran on track for the first time that it became aware of the extents of the troubles it had.
“Many items we could not test on the dyno, so it is normal that we need to check some functions in the car,” he said.
“The oil tank is one of the biggest items, so we have a rig for the oil tank but we cannot recreate the same types of G-forces and conditions as in the car.
“Of course, by design we have to consider the actual car situation in theory, but sometimes it is not always the same situation so that is why we had some issues with the oil tank first.