By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
Honda are aiming to bring an updated engine with increased power levels McLaren, with some positive gains made on the reliability front.
Fernando Alonso ran a relatively trouble free day on Friday, finishing 12th in the second practice for the Australian Grand Prix. McLaren looked obviously down on horsepower to their competitors, but Honda revealed that work is being done to ensure a better power unit is in the plans, with the aim to bring is before June.
Teams are set at moving to their second of four power units around the Monaco Grand Prix in late May.
Honda F1 boss Yusuke Hasegawa noted the speed trap numbers and believes much of the problem plaguing the team now is being underpowered.
“The power difference is big,” said Hasegawa. “To raise the power it is necessary to raise the combustion efficiency, but to do that you have to change the hardware of the current power unit.
“So I am developing an improved power unit, but it will take some time to complete. I would like to have it finished and in the car within two months.”
Despite surviving any reliability woes, McLaren was enduring a series of vibrations to which both Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne were forced to shift gears in a different rev range, which can hinder the overall lap time.
“The vibration was not that much of a problem today,” continued Hasegawa.
“However, there was a little bit at the time of the up-shift, so if we solve that then we may earn a little more lap time.”