Honda plans to roll out a new-spec engine after the summer break, with the sole purpose of increasing power on the improved MP4-30 McLaren-Honda.
Honda Motorsport chief Yasuhisa Arai is also convinced that his team won’t be having any reliability issues anymore, which means that McLaren would finally be free to focus on straight line speed.
“After the summer shutdown our plan is to apply a new-spec engine using some of our remaining seven tokens. The most important area for us to concentrate on is the combustion,” said Arai.
Even though McLaren isn’t in a direct fight with anyone at the moment, a couple of more strong results would give them a good blueprint for next year when there shouldn’t be any more excuses for having poor results.
According to Arai, the power upgrades won’t all arrive in time for the Belgian Grand Prix as “some parts will be applied for Spa and the rest during the weeks that follow.”
Interestingly enough, Arai also admitted to having underestimated the difficulty of challenging the top teams in Formula 1. “The current technology is much more sophisticated and it is tough to make a good racing car. We knew it wouldn’t be easy, but perhaps we didn’t imagine it would be this hard.”
As for Honda’s ultimate goal of “beating the best”, let’s just say that we’re at least maybe a few years away? Besides, it’s not like the best teams are just going to stand still with their own development plans.
Until then, maybe McLaren could set their sights on cementing their status as F1’s 5th best team after the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams and Red Bull.
Story references: Autosport