1. What is Honda's preferred engine direction in the new IndyCar specifications? What horsepower levels?
We will design a V-6 engine and horsepower is difficult to say, but we are targeting a 225 mph average lap speed at Indianapolis. With the information we have been given, we will require somewhere around 575 hp. We hope to have more hp available for road-course racing, subject, of course, to IZOD IndyCar Series approval.
2. Did the IndyCar muffler contribute to the instability of cars in traffic? Any thoughts of removing it next season?
We have no plans to remove it. We have not received any reports from race teams regarding any instability in traffic. Our initial testing of the muffler in 2008 showed very little change to the aerodynamic performance of the car.
3. If the fuel-mixture switch has, say, six settings, why not make #4 the max the engine can do, and then have P2P (push-to-pass) be the equivalent of #6?
Anything is possible. Right now, we are in discussion with the IZOD IndyCar Series to remove the fuel-mixture switch from the car completely. This would make the driver responsible for controlling the amount of fuel consumed with his or her right foot. If we do that, we will adjust the standard engine setting to make the P2P more effective.