Honda plan to spend some of their nine allocated development tokens on boosting maximum horsepower by exploring different combustion concepts over the coming months.
The Japanese company, which supplies only McLaren, entered the sport this year, rather than last year like its rivals Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault, and therefore has fewer development tokens to play with.
That makes it even more important for them to identify areas of weakness to ‘spend’ their tokens on improving. One such area, according to motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai, is horsepower.
“Where we are weak is horsepower – we need more horsepower,” he is quoted by Autosport. “So one area to use the tokens is combustion, and the MGU-K and MGU-H because energy is a very important part.
When asked what needed to be changed to achieve their goal, Arai said: “Maybe we need to change the combustion concept, or the turbocharger, or the camshaft, those kind of parts.
“We should try to change the combustion concept because maybe the other power-unit suppliers are always thinking about better combustion characteristics,” he explained.
“Every day, on the research and development side they are thinking about it, working on or testing a new combustion concept to get more horsepower to immediately apply that,” he added. “Maybe that’s the area [for us] to use the tokens.”
Honda is beginning to turn a corner, with fewer reliability issues causing McLaren problems. Neither Jenson Button or Fernando Alonso experienced a problem during the Spanish GP, or during the in-season test which followed. 168 problem-free-laps were completed over the two days.