Phoenix wrote:mario wrote:Phoenix wrote:I agree with Aerond. The interesting question is, would have McLaren got that deal with Renault in 1989? Williams would've still had the upper hand until 1992, but assuming Honda retired after that year, would have Williams' superior aerodynamics and electronic systems superseded the engine disadvantage? I'm assuming a straight engine swap including Williams getting the Ford Cosworth units McLaren had in 1993.
It does open up the interesting question as to what engine McLaren could have used in 1988 and how effective the MP4/4 would have been if they didn't have the Honda engine at their disposal. Would they have stayed with the TAG-Porsche engine for one more year, even though a lack of development was hurting their success, or might they have made the same decision as Williams and gone down the route of a normally aspirated engine?
At first I'm believing they would've pressed on with the TAG engine for one more season (and then probably switched to Renault engines, just like Williams did in real life), but that would've surely compromised the design of the MP4/4 chassis. McLaren would've had an average season, falling behind Ferrari and Williams and scoring no wins.
Yes and no - from what I have seen of the dimensions of the TAG-Porsche TTE PO1 engine and the Honda RA168E were not massively far apart; the bore of the PO1 is slightly larger and the stroke a little shorter, but the engines were both 80º V6's with similar turbo configurations and weight (about 150kg for the TAG-Porsche and 146kg for the RA168E).
So, it is possible that the decision to stick with the TAG-Porsche might have resulted in some change to the chassis design, but maybe not massive changes; added to that, the car probably would still have benefited from the major rethink in aerodynamics that Gordon Murray brought to the team (Oatley points out that McLaren has fundamentally been using the same design as a starting point for about six years, since the MP4/3 was an updated MP4/2 which in turn was an updated MP4/1). Given that, I would tentatively suggest that the team probably would have been much closer to the field as a whole in that case, but might well have remained competitive enough to win because of the improvements to the overall packaging and aerodynamics of the car.
Given the relatively slow development of the engine, though, fuel consumption could well have been the biggest problem they faced, and that was an area in which Honda had been especially active (although the TAG-Porsche was generally one of the more fuel efficient engines on the grid)...