Honda improving despite Spa update failure

Yusuke Hasegawa believes that Honda is improving despite its failure to deliver its scheduled "Spec 4" engine update at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) of the McLaren Honda Team at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 27, 2017 in Spa, Belgium.

Although McLaren and Honda are on the verge of a divorce for 2018 according to a number of reports, the Japanese engine supplier is continuing to improve its 2017 engine as it attempts to secure an upturn in performance this season.

Honda improving despite Spa update failure

Honda was planning to introduce its “Spec 4” engine to Spa last weekend, however, the update failed, leaving McLaren with a “Spec 3.5” power unit. Despite this failure, Honda’s Yusuke Hasegawa has said that the engine supplier made a clear step forward in performance at Spa.

“We assume that the improvement was one tenth, but in fact it may have been more,” he told Sportiva. “It is difficult to see because of the characteristics of Spa, but if we would have run it in Hungary, the result would have been different.”

Hasegawa went on to say that the new specification power unit in Belgium improved the engine’s torque at low speed: “Although Spa is not a place where there are many low-speed corners, the eleventh place in qualifying shows the effect of ‘specification 3.5′,” he insisted.

McLaren currently lie in ninth place in the Constructors’ Championship with 11 points, only six ahead of Sauber who round out the standings. This weekend, the outfit is expecting another difficult race due to its lack of power, with Monza being a high speed circuit and being entirely reliant on power alone.

Another issue facing McLaren is Fernando Alonso, who could be on his way out of the team at the end of this season due to its ongoing issues. After giving his final ultimatum to the Woking-based squad earlier this week, it is expected that the Spaniard will make a decision regarding his future in September. Whether if he will remain as a McLaren driver  in 2018 remains unknown.
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