Honda’s head of F1 project Yusuka Hasegawa hopes partner team McLaren can add to its points tally at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, with the Barcelona venue putting less emphasis on outright power.
Despite noticeable progress over the winter, the MP4-31 package remains some way off the front-running pace, with McLaren-Honda yet to get into Q3 in this year.
However, The British outfit and Japanese manufacturer seem to be on the verge of a breakthrough, as Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button secured a double points finish in Russia last time out. After visiting a quartet of power-sensitive tracks, Honda will face different demands upon F1’s return to Europe.
“The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a technical circuit that is less strenuous on the power unit compared to the first four races, but much more stressful on the balance of the car,” Hasegawa said.
“From a power unit perspective, it is important to have the correct amount of deployment, harvesting and throttle response, so our focus will be to deliver the best balance to suit the needs of our drivers.”
While all other three engine manufacturers – Mercedes, Ferrari, and Renault – have already used some engine development tokens, Honda has yet to dip in its 14-token allocation. Alonso called for more power in qualifying, but Hasegawa wants to ensure the tokens are spent as effectively as possible.
“Our power unit development is ongoing and we have not yet confirmed to which races we will bring token updates, but hopefully we can fight for more points during Sunday’s race.”
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