Brawn: Reality checks needed for Honda success

Date published: January 5 2019

Honda: Reality checks needed

Former Honda team principal, Ross Brawn, has said the engine manufacturers need regular reality checks in order to be successful.

Honda’s return to Formula 1 began with three dismal years with McLaren, but there have been signs of improvement after splitting from them and starting a new partnership with Toro Rosso.

Red Bull saw enough to join forces with Honda themselves ahead of the 2019 season and Brawn has drawn upon his previous experiences to say what is needed in order for the relationship to work.

“The secret to success with Honda is sort of connecting the engineers to the Formula 1 challenges,” Brawn told Autosport.

“When I arrived at Honda, the engineers were a little bit remote from the reality of what was needed.

“My job was to connect the engineers and make sure they were working on the right things and they had the priorities, the information, the real picture about what was happening.

“When I arrived there was a view that their engine was one of the best. Because I was familiar with the Ferrari, it was clear it wasn’t one of the best.

“So connecting the Honda people with the real situation, helping them understand what the priorities are, and understanding where they should be focused, was one of the important elements.

“I think Red Bull will be very good at making sure Honda have that clarity of what should be focused on.”

“Knowing exactly what your weaknesses are, exactly what your strengths are, and making sure you’re focused on the right things [is important].

“If that is achieved then they will undoubtedly be in a strong position.”

Brawn was encouraged by Honda’s progress with Toro Rosso in 2018 and thinks that their partnership with Red Bull could ultimately be a title-winning one.

He added: “It seems as though they’ve made a lot of progress this year. I think the relationship with McLaren had broken down and it was right for them to move on.

“Red Bull are a terrific racing company and they do great cars. It’s a special opportunity for Honda to succeed.

“I expect Red Bull to continue winning races. Whether there is enough there yet, in the first year of the partnership, to win championship, I don’t know.

“It would be pretty special if they did, but I think next season will be the first of a new partnership that is going to bring world championships.”

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