Honda's F1 engine ideas will be difficult to copy
Honda will be impossible for rival Formula 1 engine manufacturers to copy if its "unique" power unit ideas pay off, reckons McLaren driver Fernando Alonso.
The Japanese firm has endured a torrid return to F1 with McLaren this year, racking up a string of failures and generally being mired in the lower midfield.
It has deliberately avoided hiring experienced engineers from established F1 manufacturers and focused on its own homegrown team at Sakura in Japan.
Asked if he thought this was a weakness that left Honda isolated, Alonso said he was certain Honda's distinctive thinking would ultimately prove advantageous.
"It can be a weakness or it can be the winning formula," he said.
"I choose to believe this is the winning formula.
"If you want to copy what Mercedes do, you can be close to Mercedes but you cannot ever be better than Mercedes.
"Being there in another culture, with another discipline and another ethic of work has maybe been difficult this year because some of the process has been slower than what it could be, but I think some of the ideas we have are very unique in the paddock.
"If we make them work, it will be difficult for anyone else to copy."
McLaren also took a divergent technical path, though Alonso admitted recently that there were areas where falling into line with rivals would probably be beneficial.
He does not think the team's much-trumpeted 'size zero' aerodynamic philosophy of tight power unit packaging will be a long-term drawback, saying the concept only proved problematic this year because "the power unit was not ready to compete at the top level this year".
The 2005/06 world champion is adamant the McLaren car itself is a competitive proposition and the only "question mark" is over winter engine development.
"We have everything," Alonso said.
"The car is responding well, aerodynamically we have the direction to go in, we are improving and I see when I am on the track how we attack the corners and how fast we are in the corners.
"So I am not afraid that next year's car will not be at the top level."
Às vezes eu fico pensando: será que Alonso está vendo a mesma temporada que eu?!?!
Mas eu prefiro sempre acreditar que ele sabe o que fala e, obviamente, tem acesso a informações que nós não temos!
Se 2016 não tão vexatório como 2015, já será uma grande conquista!!