Honda have reportedly cracked their power unit woes over the winter thanks to an ERS breakthrough, the result of 24-hour shifts and no Christmas break at their Sakura factory in Japan.
Spain’s AS newspaperreports sources close to the company claiming the gains could amount to a massive 223 horsepower from the very first race of the season.
Such a major step forward would put their engine on par with that of the 2015 Ferrari and not far behind the Mercedes unit. However both Ferrari and Mercedes are expected to make small gains over the winter period as well.
The report claims a breakthrough with their ERS system – something which caused the manufacturer major headaches in 2015 as it was unable to fully deploy it without risking it failing altogether – will provide roughly 163hp more according to simulations.
Meanwhile it is also claimed gains have been made on the turbo and combustion side, which will result in a further increase of 70hp, bringing its power unit in line with its competitiors.
A major step forward doesn’t come as a huge surprise, as Honda recognised their faults, but were unable to make the required changes to the engine during the season as they simply didn’t have enough tokens.
Their true performance will only be seen at the first test of the season, which begins February 22 at Spain’s Circuit de Barcelona-Cataluyna.