Gilles Simon has announced his departure from his role as Formula One Engine Consultant to Honda. This comes after the team has shown to have provided another struggling engine for the McLaren Formula One team ahead of the 2017 season. With both another struggling engine and Simon stating that he will leave the role permanently “some time this year” and the rumour that McLaren is looking for a way to terminate their engine contract with Honda it looks like it is all falling apart for the Japanese Manufacturer.
Gilles has previously worked for Renault, Ferrari and the FIA and has been working as an engine consultant for Honda since they came back to the sport in 2013. The start of this year saw the Frenchman step back from his role, but it has now been confirmed that by the end of the year he will no longer work for Honda.
Rumour has it that Simon has left his role due to the fact that Honda was ignoring the suggestions and ideas that he presented. If this is the case it could be the explanation behind the issues Honda are suffering this year and the problems with their oil system that stilted running in the first week of pre-season testing. However, Simon has refused to comment on these rumours that he was being ignored.
On the issues with the new Honda power unit, Eric Boullier stated that the situation is currently “not good enough.” After Honda F1 boss Yusuke Hasegawa admitted there may not be a complete fix for the troubled engines in time for the opening round of the 2017 season in Melbourne, Boullier was hastened to add: “There is a bit more work to be done in Japan to investigate why we had those issues: issues that we absolutely did not expect to have – and for sure neither did Honda. It is fixable, but it was not the plan to have these issues. They are not really serious, as there are no fundamental issues with the design.”
Boullier has also gone on the record to say that Honda’s Formula One engines are “three years behind” Mercedes, Renault, and Ferrari. An unimpressed team principle and another torrid season predicted for the team could see a messy divorce in what both had hoped to be the new dominant package.
(quotes from: www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formulaone; www.grandprix247.com. image: @McLarenF1