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Honda in need of time: Will the big update come?

McLaren is facing a difficult race weekend in Canada. On the one hand, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a course in which engine performance is important, and on the other hand, the team does not yet know whether engine partner Honda will finish the update in time. We give gas, but until Thursday I can’t decide that,”says Motor Chief Yusuke Hasegawa.

As you know, the engine is the big weakness of McLaren. The drives are not powerful and reliable enough to score points in Formula 1 this season. Neither Fernando Alonso nor Stoffel Vandoorne nor the Jenson Button, who jumped into Monaco, were able to get a counter. Hope should make an engine upgrade next weekend, but time is running out.

Although according to Hasegawa some performance has already been found, however, it has not yet begun to adjust the engine properly, which could cause problems with the driveability. Honda could install some new elements on the engine if you get the necessary settings and confirm the reliability, but that will only be decided in the course of the week.

engine change only in case of a worthwhile jump

Currently the benefits are so small that it would not be worthwhile, to purchase a penalty transfer that would be due with another engine change.” If the performance jump is too small, it is not worth it,”says Hasegawa.

Fernando Alonso, also argues that McLaren does not buy unnecessary penalty transfers:”Every time we install a new engine, we start from the very back because we have already exceeded our limits. We must therefore choose the races in which we switch very carefully,”the Spaniard is quoted by’Diario Sports’. I don’t know if we have anything new for Canada with the engine, but I hope so.”

Should the upgrade come, improvements are planned in particular with the combustion engine and the turbine:”The combustion engine is our biggest construction site that we need to improve,”says Hasegawa. According to Alonso, the competitors of Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault, who are supposed to make a difference on some routes up to three seconds, are currently missing around 50PS.

McLaren satisfied: The values are right

Again and again it is emphasized, that you could drive around podiums with an equivalent engine and be close to Mercedes and Ferrari. Of course, McLaren can’t prove it, but team leader Eric Boullier hopes that Honda’s improvements will continue throughout the season and move the team forward.” We need this step from our partner in the second half of the season to add a strong performance and score points,”said the Frenchman.

According to him, the chassis of the MCL32 is extremely satisfactory in its state of development:”The correlation is fantastic. We are at 95 percent of what we expected –that’s brilliant,”he emphasises at’car sports’. The new processes in the team are so trustworthy that you always know exactly what you can expect from new developments, both in aerodynamics and in mechanical parts.

A first success could be seen in Monaco when Vandoorne and Button were able to drive in Q3. Vandoorne could have gotten the first points of the season if he hadn’t gone to the track limit. But the chassis has shown its value.” As an internal goal, we wanted to see if our processes work and they do, said Boullier. “We want to see if our processes work.” We are very confident in our ability to achieve the next goals. The car will be further developed, but we are satisfied with the platform.”