Design Changes Needed to Incorporate Honda Power Unit – Toro Rosso

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

James Key has revealed that the difference designs of Honda power unit compared to the Renault power unit has left him and his team at Scuderia Toro Rosso with work to in order to incorporate it into their 2018 chassis.

Toro Rosso will switch to their third different engine manufacturer in as many years in 2018 after signing with the Japanese manufacturer, but the different locations of the turbo compressors meant it was not as straightforward a job to install the new power unit into the car, particularly as the initially design was set to incorporate a Renault power unit.

“They [the engines] are completely different,” said technical director Key to “It’s a very nicely packaged engine, but the whole power unit is a different architecture.

“It doesn’t drop into the same space. There’s quite a bit of car layout work that has to be done to adapt to it.”

Despite the variations in the package caused by the engine, Key insisted it was important to maintain the work the team had done in regards to the aerodynamics, and as such many of developments they’ve come up with have remained.

“We try and stick to a rule that, if a car has already been in a development process for a while, not to upset any major items such as aero surfaces and that sort of thing, so we’re not starting from scratch in too many areas,” said Key.

“We’ve adapted the car under the skin as best we can. And that’s led to quite a different approach to the chassis design, to the way the gearbox works, and so on. We’ve carried over the concepts and developed them further from this year’s car.”