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Honda facing two significant problems ahead of 2019 season, report claims

Written by  Jan 05, 2019

Honda is in the midst of solving two significant issues currently hampering the development of their 2019 engine, according to a report.

The Japanese manufacturer has made strong progress with their unit over the past 12 months, with those gains attracting Red Bull to follow junior team Toro Rosso into a partnership.

However, it appears two problems that have impacted Honda before have returned as they prepare for what is their most important season since returning to Formula 1.

Germany's Autobild believes a disagreement is ongoing between the Honda engineers and consultants AVL, a previous partner of Ferrari, perhaps highlighting issues with communication that have been touted before.

Also, it is understood the latest specification engine is unable to run at maximum performance on the dyno because of vibrations from the Internal Combustion Engine, the same issue with hampered Honda throughout 2017 with McLaren.

"For this issue, we are taking appropriate measures," Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko said, with former Mercedes engine boss Mario Illien thought to have been drafted in.

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This comes despite Red Bull consistently hyping up their new partnership ahead of the 2019 season but F1 motorsport director Ross Brawn had a warning for the team from his own experience with Honda as team boss until 2008.

"The secret to success with Honda is sort of connecting the engineers to the Formula 1 challenge," he explained to Autosport.

"When I arrived at Honda, the engineers were a little bit remote from the reality of what was needed. My job was to connect the engineers and make sure they were working on the right things and they had the priorities, the information, the real picture about what was happening.

"When I arrived there was a view that their engine was one of the best but because I was familiar with the Ferrari, it was clear it wasn't one of the best."

Brawn does think Red Bull are the right team to deal with Honda, however, and also believe the Milton Keynes outfit will remain competitive at the front.

"Red Bull will be very good at making sure Honda have that clarity of what should be focused on," he continued. "Red Bull is a terrific racing company and they do great cars. It's a special opportunity for Honda to succeed.

"I expect Red Bull to continue winning races. Whether there is enough there yet, in the first year of the partnership, to win the championship, I don't know.

"It would be pretty special if they did, but I think next season will be the first of a new partnership that is going to bring world championships."

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