Honda has no plans to run its new Formula 1 engine on track before the start of pre-season testing in 2015.
The Japanese manufacturer will return to F1 as engine supplier to McLaren for the second season of the new regulations and is scheduled to fire up its engine on the dyno for the first time this fall. But contrary to rumors it might take advantage of not competing in 2014 to test on track either in an F1 car or a test mule, Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai insists it has no intention to do so.
“It is a rumor and people have talked about it but we do not have any such plans,” said Arai. “In terms of the timing of when you will be able to see the engine running in the actual vehicle, maybe it will be around the time you say [January/February 2015]. We are hoping we will get to show our engine at that time.”
While time constraints will also make it difficult to run the complete engine on track before then, with a full package complete with ERS not expect to be run on the dyno until next year, Arai suggested bench testing would be more beneficial.
“I think it is going to be more efficient to use the dyno,” he said. “Maybe that is going to give us more benefits.”
Arai added that he expects there to be both advantages and disadvantages to Honda joining F1 in 2015. While this will give Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault a year of experience of running the engines, it will allow Honda more time to develop its power unit.
“In terms of the advantages, we can say that it is going to give us enough time to spend on designing and developing the engine,” said Arai. “While we can observe other teams struggling or have other issues, we can only see how they deal with the challenges and see the performance updates. But as for how they did it, it is in our imagination.”