Honda on sprint race weekend: It’ll be tougher than a normal weekend
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Honda on sprint race weekend: "It’ll be tougher than a normal weekend"

14-07-2021 11:23 Last update: 11:51

Next weekend Formula 1 will experiment with sprint races for the first time. This will not only be a new experience for the teams but also for the engine suppliers. Honda looks ahead to what they think is in store for them in Great Britain.

Motohashi-san says on his employer's website that it will be more difficult, especially from a reliability point of view. "It’ll be tougher than a normal weekend because of the Sprint, which means running the PU in race mode for a longer period of time", said the Japanese man. "And while it is not critical nor directly impacting on this weekend, but as we are only allowed a limited number of power units in a year, we will need to take it into consideration when we think of the PU allocation plan for the season.”

Parc fermé as early as Friday

By this he is referring to the fact that each driver can only use three power units in 23 Grands Prix. On Fridays, older engines are often used, which are then replaced during the night before qualifying on Saturday. However, this will not be the case this weekend. "The new schedule makes such an approach much harder, with parc ferme starting at the start of qualifying on Friday."

Motohashi-san continued: "Technically it is allowed to use a different PU in FP1 and FP2 to the qualifying, sprint and Grand Prix. But this means we will need to switch PU after FP1 or FP2 which is going to be quite tough considering the time limitations", he explains.

The value of FP2

With parc fermé starting already on Friday you might say that the second free practice session is rather useless for Honda because there is no more work or adjustments to be made. Still, according to Motohashi-san some lessons can be learned during the weekend. "There is not much we can do as basically everything has to be set after FP1. It sounds like there’s no value in FP2 as we cannot change any settings after that, but actually both the team and ourselves can try various things there to understand the behaviour of the car and tyres etc in different conditions to FP1, which will be good a reference to consider for the race strategy.”

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