APRIL 26, 2017
F1 could help Honda end crisis?
F1 could be set to help Honda emerge from its three-year struggle for reliability and performance.
According to Spain's El Confidencial, the plan could be spearheaded by new F1 owner Liberty Media, aware that Honda's troubles are not a good advertisement for other manufacturers interested in entering the sport.
"It is so serious that some rivals even seem willing to help," the report claimed.
Indeed, there are reports in both the Spanish and British press that Mercedes, having dominated F1 in the 'power unit' era to date, could support Honda's desperate push to improve.
"We are in a competitive world," said McLaren boss Eric Boullier, "and I know a lot of people who do not want us to be there."
McLaren, meanwhile, declined to comment on speculation that former F1 engine guru Mario Illien is now actively working with Honda.
But Honda's Yusuke Hasegawa said: "We are doing everything we can. We are using external sources and have been changing our organisation since the beginning of March."
The first fruits will reportedly be seen this weekend in Russia, following a much more reliable showing for Honda's troubled V6 power unit in the post-Bahrain test.
Germany's Auto Bild reports that the centrepiece of the Sochi upgrade is a new MGU-H unit.
And it is expected that a customer engine deal for Sauber will be announced for 2018 in the coming days.
"We are still behind our rivals," said a Honda spokesman, "but we are going in the right direction."