“Mimicked chassis because they felt they could do a better job”: Why Honda consistently failed in first stint

After a seven-year journey that began in the wake of the hybrid era, Honda is set to bow out of Formula 1 after this season.

Currently, the relationship between Honda and Red Bull is pretty strong and the Japanese engine manufacturers have given the Austrian outfit the 2022 regulation-induced engine project.

Despite their relationship with Red Bull, Honda has failed to live up to its billing in the sport. It has had failed projects in the past. This primarily includes the BAR (British American Racing) which competed between 1999 and 2005.

For six seasons, Honda remained BAR’s engine supplier. However, James Vowles, who began his F1 career with BAR, revealed that it was never easy to work with Honda.

Talking to F1, Vowles, currently an engineer with Mercedes F1, disclosed that Honda began to work on the chassis themselves as they felt they could do a better job than the team.

“There were two different cultures brought together at the same time. We had our way of working. They had their way of working. It took a long time to understand how to get the most out of both parties,” he told Beyond The Grid.

“The way the relationship actually continued was a little bit of a breakdown. They were actually in many ways mimicking or trying to do the chassis work on their side believing that they could do a stronger job than we could in tandem and in parallel to ourselves.

“Of course, you can imagine that this would break down the relationship which is what happened over time.”

Honda is currently in their fourth era in F1. They had a rough start to their campaign with McLaren in 2015 as they constantly failed to hit targets. They also provided underwhelming power units during their three-year partnership.

McLaren terminated its contract with Honda and the latter shifted to Red Bull with whom it has an interesting relationship.

Do you think the Honda deal worked well for Red Bull? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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