By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
It has been confirmed by McLaren that engine supplier Honda will bring in a redesigned power unit for the 2017 Formula 1 season.
The Japanese manufacturer returned to the sport in 2015, scoring a woeful 27 points as McLaren-Honda only managed to finish ninth in the constructors’ standings. However, 2016 saw a dramatic improvement as the Woking-based team scored 76 points and finished sixth in the constructors’ standings with Fernando Alonso finishing fifth on two occasions (Canadian Grand Prix, U.S. Grand Prix).
The team’s technical director, Tim Goss, has confirmed that Honda will bring in a new power unit.
“For 2017, the Honda engine architecture and layout have been altered to serve both for performance and packaging needs,” Goss said, on the team’s website.
“The new power unit takes much of the learning from the past two seasons, but has been specifically redesigned for this season.”
Along with the scrapping of F1’s token system, a plethora of technical regulation changes bring a huge unknown to this upcoming season, something that Goss said is likely to shakeup the competition.
“We’ve had bigger changes in the past – the change between 1982 and ’83 from ground-effect to flat floors, for example, which had a massive impact on performance – but this season’s changes rank as some of the most significant we’ve ever had in the sport,” Goss said.
“That’s likely to change the competition order – because it’s such a big disturbance – but then what normally happens is the best and most well-equipped teams tend to rise to the top again.”