Would Honda have won in 2009?
17th June 2011, 14:55 at 2:55 pm #129587
Opinions appreciated. I understand the Brawn 001 was fundamentally a Honda, powered by a Mercedes BBenz engine, just curious if others think that had Honda stayed in the game, they may have finally tasted success in 2009 ? Was it a significant mistake on their behalf to depart ?? Same goes with Toyota, seemed that the 09 car was hitting good form towards the end of the year…Sad to see these big manufacturers leave the game, additionally I read a year or so ago Porsche were looking at getting into F1, although haven’t heard BOO since….
Its kinda weird to see Infiniti / Nissan advertising on the RedBull Renault ? I don’t see the connection ?17th June 2011, 15:04 at 3:04 pm #171511
Honda couldn’t have guessed just how good it would have been. I know that they expected a good year in 2009, but maybe nowehere near as good as that.
At the end of the day Ithink the incredible team spirit got Button and Barrichello through such a tough season.17th June 2011, 15:16 at 3:16 pm #171512
They did win. The only thing that was really different was the engine and ownership. The team was a slimmed-down version of itself.
But would they have won if Honda had stayed in charge and Senna replaced Rubens? On the face of it, yes – if you give Rubens a DNF in every race that year, Vettel would have only scored 3 more points (and Button 5!). But who knows how much the car’s performance was down to Rubens’ set-up? He was given quite a lot of credit for their early pace, even though didn’t win anything.17th June 2011, 15:40 at 3:40 pm #171513
I’ve heard that because they were officially not a team in the winter, they could use wind tunnel unlimited. And Senna would not be as helpful as Rubens with development, and as Icthyes says, Barrichello was good at setting the car up.
On the other hand, you have different fingers. If Honda stayed the team would have more money to develop mid-season.
So I guess they’d have a worse start to the season and a better second half. Tough to say whether they’d win, but I think the constructors’ title would be Red Bull’s – Senna would probably be far behind Button in his rookie season.17th June 2011, 16:46 at 4:46 pm #171514
“Its kinda weird to see Infiniti / Nissan advertising on the RedBull Renault ? I don’t see the connection ?”
Renault holds a 43.4% stake in Nissan, while Nissan holds 15% of Renault shares. Each company has a direct interest in the results of its partner.
thats the connection between the branding17th June 2011, 19:44 at 7:44 pm #171515
“I’ve heard that because they were officially not a team in the winter, they could use wind tunnel unlimited.”
I’ve never heard that before. Surely that can’t be true??
I always felt they would have been just as good as Brawn, and probably even better. I know the Mercedes engine proved to be far better than the Honda they had been using before then, but iirc the engine performances were supposed to have been equalised somewhat before that season. And even if they weren’t, the Honda engine presumably wouldn’t have cost them more than a few tenths a lap.
Brawn seemed to miss most of the pre season tests, which would not have been the case if they still had Honda backing. They would have been able to keep developing the car throughout the season, and so would not have been caught by Red Bull so quickly. Also, Honda would have found it easier to find sponsorship than Brawn ever did. There were a few companies, notably Petrobras, who were prepared to sign sponsorship deals with the team until Honda left17th June 2011, 21:34 at 9:34 pm #171516
it was a bit sad to see that white car winning all those races and almost without sponsors. Towards the end, it seems they had more sponsor’s space occupied but they had a different (usually local) one for each race. Sad because we are used to see color in the cars..17th June 2011, 22:05 at 10:05 pm #171517
but do you not think it was really good to see a car with very little sponsors on win it was like a cinderella story (am sure thats how martin bundle put it) and i think it was all down to a really tight team sprit and with all the team lossing there jobs and it was like a big one last go at it for the team thats what did it i tought18th June 2011, 1:26 at 1:26 am #171518
actually it was more the advantage in downforce given by their double difusor and the competiteveness of the car in general.. No, not good, nor bad; although I can be romantic, not that romantic.. just thought it was sad because they definitely had a winning car and no sponsors.18th June 2011, 6:16 at 6:16 am #171519
It’s a long-established fact that the Mercedes-Benz FO108V engine is the engine to have. The Brawn BGP-001 was originally known as the Honda RA109, and designed with Honda’s RA808E engine in mind. Of all the engines that competed in 2008 – Honda’s final season – the Honda RA808E was one of the poorest-rated engines, particularly in terms of power. Since the RA808E would have been carried over to the RA109 chassis, it’s questionable as to whether they would have won one or both World Championships. They probably would have won something, but I doubt we would have seen Button’s early-season whitewash.
At the same time, the maiin reason why Brawn slumped in form from the British Grand Prix on was because they ran out of money. One of the reasons why the BGP-001 did so well early in the season was because of the way it performed in hot weather. Button won in Australia, Bahrain, Spain, Monaco and Turkey, all of which were very hot races. Even if Malaysia was a wash-out, it was still humid. But when the British Grand Prix came around, the temperatures were much cooler. The team brought an upgrade for the race, but they knew they weren’t going to dominate. They weren’t expecting to return to form until Hungary, the next “hot race”. So they struggled at Silverstone and the Nurburgring, and attributed it to the climate. But then they struggled in Budapest, and realised the upgrade hadn’t worked. By now, they were almost out of money, even with Richard Branson paying them on a race-by-race basis. They had one late-season upgrade planned, but because they had to find a solution to the problems caused by the Silverstone upgrade, Brawn GP had to sacrifice that last update to undo the damage (after all, Button finished the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the same chassis that he had run in every race, qualifying session and practice session since FP1 in Melbourne, which has pretty much bene unheard of for decades). They managed to get something together for Valencia, and sure enough, Barrichello won in the hot Spanish weather. Valencia was probably the only race of the season where Button had the car to win, but didn’t make good on it. And by this point, everyone else – particularly Red Bull – had well and truly caught up.
A lot of people accuse Jenson Button of being a poor World Champion because he “didn’t try” in the secnod half of the season, or simply lucked into a good car (but as many of Barrichello’s early performances showed, it was more than siply luck). While the Brawn BGP-001 might have been the strongest car at the start of the season, it was – at best – only third after the Red Bull RB5 and the McLaren MP/4-24 (and, depending on the circuit, the Ferrari F60) by the time Button claimed his championship in Sao Paulo. Button struggled because the team struggled.
Now, assuming Honda had stayed in the game, the RA109 would have been down on power because of the RA808E engine. But it almost certainly would have been a strong car despite this; not strong enough to win championships, but certainly strong enough for regular podiums (if not outright wins). Upon seeing this success, Honda would have thrown more money at the team. They did, after all, have one of the highest budgets when they left the sport. With a blank cheque in hand, the team would have been able to run a more-extensive development program, with more regular updates and parts. Even if the Silverstone upgrade had still gone awry, Honda would have been able to overcome the problem and upgrade the car sooner. They would have been able to extract more aerodynamic performance from it, which may have been enough to offset the problems caused by the under-powered RA808E.
Of course, all of this is speculation. We’ll never know for sure.18th June 2011, 10:24 at 10:24 am #171520
Can anyone estimate how much quicker the best engines are than the worst ones? Surely it can’t be more than a few tenths? Back in 2009, it seemed like it was still important- especially at Spa and Monza, where the Mercedes engined cars had a big advantage- but in 2010 and ’11 engines barely seem to warrant a mention18th June 2011, 10:30 at 10:30 am #171521
James Allen estimated about 3/10ths http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2009/11/analysis-of-f1-engine-performance-in-2009/ but of course Honda wasn’t competing that year.18th June 2011, 13:20 at 1:20 pm #171522
With no refuelling and with blown diffusors it’s a bit different, the power itself is less important. Renault seems to have worse power, but it appears to be better at fuel usage and at engine mapping.18th June 2011, 14:14 at 2:14 pm #171523
All the photos I have seen of what would have been theHonda RA109 suggest a very different car from the BGP 001. This is what leads me to think Honda would not have won in 2009, but then the Brawn was designed by the Honda team, so I’m fought as to what success they would have had. I still think Honda would not have been the 2009 Formula 1 World Champions.18th June 2011, 14:38 at 2:38 pm #171524
Not disagreeing with anyone’s points, which are all very valid, but I do think that maybe a lot of people want to believe Honda wouldn’t have won because the Brawn story is such a good one. I don’t know. I’m sure they would have cheered a Honda victory but presented with one or the other, the hearts generally go to the plucky privateer.
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