Honda Formula 1 is parting ways with its engine consultant Gilles Simon. Reports claim that the French engine expert decided to leave his post as a consultant to Honda's Formula 1 program following its poor performance over the course of the past few years. Things also might have turned too complicated during Honda's test laps in Barcelona where the team's displayed a dismal performance.
Prior to his stint in the Honda Formula 1 team, Simon had also worked with Ferrari and Renault. Simon had also worked with the Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, according to Motor Sport. The 58-year-old Frenchman joined Honda in 2013 when the team announced their return to the grid. Reports have also confirmed that Simon's contract with Honda is expected to expire "sometime this year."
— Live F1 News (@LiveF1News) March 6, 2017
During the preseason test which was held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain, Honda used at least five engines during the course of the four-day test runs. Honda Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso was sidelined during the first day of the test laps due to a fault in his car's oil system. Honda's second driver, Stoffel Vandoorne, also experienced mechanical issues.
Honda Formula 1 head Yusuke Hasegawa has expressed his concerns whether the team can solve the perceived mechanical problems prior to the start of the season which is set in Australia on March 24. Honda's problems might have turned to worse now that its most experienced engine expert has left the team.
In a statement acquired by BBC, McLaren racing director Eric Boullier said, "There is a bit more work to be done in Japan to investigate why we had those issues: issues that we absolutely did not expect to have - and for sure neither did Honda."