Why Alonso can win with Honda at Indy but not in F1
Honda underestimated F1's silly hybrid technology. In the future cars will be 100% electric and all that silly hybrid technology F1 has on its cars goes away sans the kinetic energy recovery system when a car brakes. But manufacturers already have that. IndyCar has the right formula
If somebody who only follows Formula One or IndyCar turned on one of the other series’ races, they probably would be shocked to see Honda running at the opposite end of the field. But if you look at the Japanese manufacturer’s current situation in each series, the dichotomy becomes a bit more understandable.
Although IndyCar and F1 are two of the top single-seater series in the world, the racers used in each are very different, with F1 cars pushing the envelope more in terms of technology. Both categories use V-6 engines that are turbocharged -- one turbo in F1 and two in IndyCar -- though that’s about where the similarities end. In addition to forced induction, F1’s internal combustion engines have their power outputs boosted by complex hybrid systems, which have proven to be Honda’s undoing.
When Honda returned to F1 in 2015, the sport was in its second year of the hybrid era, so it encountered many of the growing pains that other manufacturers -- save Mercedes -- experienced in 2014. Its power unit also was packaged such that it struggled with cooling, and therefore couldn’t deploy all of its electric power down the straights. To add to its problems, the errors it made in year one of the revived McLaren-Honda partnership were only compounded by F1’s engine token system, which limited development.
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