Honda 'behind when it comes to simulations'

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A former Formula 1 technical director has suggested that Honda's current woes may be a result of falling behind in simulation technologies.

Toni Cuquerella suggested that the Japanese manufacturer had underestimated the importance of the field in modern Formula 1.

Formerly a technical director for HRT, Cuquerella is now a pundit for Spanish TV Movistar. He told El Confidencial newspaper this week that simulations were crucial now track time was so limited.

"In Formula 1 there is almost no private testing," he explained. "The trend is to have increasingly sophisticated test stands.

"When you test your engine, it also depends on the coupling to the gearbox and also the chassis," he continued. "How it flexes, how it vibrates.

"It may be that they have invested a lot but unwisely," he said. "Or invested too little by underestimating the importance in this area.

"I have no idea what level Honda are at," he admitted. "But I dare say they are not the leaders in this technology."

Prior to working at HRT, Cuquerella first worked in Formula as a race engineer at the now-defunct Super Aguri team. After two years he moved to BMW Sauber, where he performed the same role with Robert Kubica.

Earlier this week, Honda chief Yusuke Hawegawa admitted the engine provider is having trouble correlating its test benches with track performance.

Formula 1's sporting boss Ross Brawn has revealed he's offered assistance to help Honda improve its performance.

But it seems increasingly likely that the point of no return has already been reached. It's now believed to be inevitable that McLaren will split with Honda by the end of the season.

Reports have been circulating that McLaren is in advanced talks with Mercedes to become a customer team in 2018.

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