Honda’s engine controversy in Japan

Honda were all set to go with the tweak to Pierre Gasly engine, but had to abort after receiving FIA instruction.

The changes were to address the oscillations which occurred when shifting through gears. Ahead of the race, the FIA confirmed Honda had changed the post shift ignition settings on the Toro Rosso, which was approved by FIAโ€™s technical delegate Jo Bauer. However, Honda later contested that they were informed to revert their changes with no explanation why.

It is yet to be confirmed, but it is understood that Honda did not comply with the time frame given to make the changes, and therefore was told to revert to the previous settings.

Pierre Gasly

Honda says the change did not limit the engine’s performance in the race but wants more information on why the FIA changed its original decision.

“We submitted the parc ferme change request to the FIA,” said Honda F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe.

“They approved it, that’s why they issued the document.

“I need to find out exactly why they changed their decision; what was done by someone.

“We were surprised, because they said yes. Suddenly, on the grid, they said no.

“We need to respect the FIA’s decision, so we didn’t use it.” Tanabe said it was “hard to tell if they are big or small” changes but the fact the FIA initially said yes showed Honda was not trying to introduce a major performance differentiator.

“From the performance point of view, we are happy,” said Tanabe.

“The post-shift oscillations, maybe some torque delivery at low-RPM, we will assess the data from here and can improve for the next race.”

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