Honda has identified the flawed part behind the rash of reliability problems in its IndyCar season, including Fernando Alonso’s failure in the Indianapolis 500.
Art St Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development, did not identify the component in question but described it as an internal part that has been used for three years and not shown susceptibility until this season.
The 2017 problems were caused by “an intermittent processing issue that wouldn’t show up in a simulation”, and will be rectified across the upcoming Iowa Speedway and Richmond rounds.
“There is no plan right now to do a wholesale change of our engines,” St Cyr told the official IndyCar website.
“Right now, it looks like [the failure] happens in about one out of every eight engines.
“If it does fail, it usually fails early, so when that problem arises, it shows up pretty quick.
“Our expectations are that once we get the engines in the spares pool, we will continue using the engines that are in the car throughout the remainder of their mileage. Then those will be replaced with new engines.
“It’s not saying we won’t have more failures, but we won’t have that failure anymore.
“When you make more horsepower, you do expose parts to more stresses. That’s the fundamental thing about it.
“In this particular case, what it did is it reduced our safety factor on that particular part.”
After several failures during the Indy 500 build-up, Honda went into the race admitting it could not be confident about reliability.
Alonso, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Charlie Kimball all had failures while in contention for victory, but Honda still won with Takuma Sato.
“We knew that even if we ran the engines at full power, the majority of our engines were going to make it.
“In that case, we were willing to make that trade-off. If it was going to fail every engine, then maybe not.
“Every circumstance is different, but in this case, we were willing to make that call. You’re at risk every year.”
Honda currently leads Chevrolet 6-4 for IndyCar race wins in 2017, having been beaten 14-2 on that front last year.