Honda is aiming to pass Renault in the second half of the 2017 in an attempt to lose its reputation of being the least powerful engine supplier in Formula 1.
Honda aiming to pass Renault in engine performance in 2017
Amidst speculation regarding Honda’s partnership with McLaren and presence in F1 entirely, the Japanese manufacturer and car giant has promised to continue improving its 2017 power unit with a new “Spec 4” update which is scheduled to be launched for the second half of this season.
Prior to F1’s summer break, McLaren and Honda enjoyed a trouble-free weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix, which saw the team suffer from no technical or reliability problems. This allowed both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne to finish inside the top ten, marking McLaren’s first double points finish of 2017 and first since the US Grand Prix in 2016. Through this large haul of points, the Woking-based team has been able to jump into ninth place in the Constructors’ Championship, dropping Sauber to tenth and last in the standings.
“We can continue to improve in terms of performance,” said Yusuke Hasegawa of Honda, “but it will be difficult to catch Ferrari and Mercedes. But by the end of the season, we want to move past Renault.”
“The drivers are now happy with the driveability of the engine, we just have to have more power. We’re working on that now,” quoted Speed Week.
McLaren is expected to make a decision regarding its 2018 engine supplier in September to allow work to begin on its car for next season. Eric Boullier backed the plans of Honda and Hasegawa for the remainder of the year. “After half the season, we are working hard to at least regain our competitiveness of last year,” quoted Spain’s El Confidencial.
When F1 returns for the Belgian Grand Prix, it is expected that McLaren will struggle due to the power reliance of the Spa circuit. Nevertheless, the team will be looking to make inroads on teams ahead in the Constructors’ Championship, being 15 points behind Renault who currently lie in eighth.
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