Honda To Unleash Updated F1 Engine At British Grand Prix
McLaren is getting new firepower for the remainder of the seasonby Ciprian Florea, on
Japanese engine supplier Honda will introduce an upgraded power unit at the British Grand Prix, scheduled to take place on July 10 at the Silverstone Circuit. The brand that provides internal combustion engines for McLaren will use a revised intake system that’s supposed to increase the efficiency of the combustion process, which should also boost horsepower ratings. The new intake is essentially a follow up to the updated turbine Honda introduced ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, which resulted in a mild reduction in power for the past three races.
"I think since we have introduced the new turbine [things have improved]. Canada and Azerbaijan are too competitive from a power point of view," said Honda’s F1 chief, Yusuke Hasegawa, according to Motorsport.com. "We’ve come back to a normal circuit and I think that is the reason why we can prove that our update was working well, I think."
Honda returned to Formula One as an engine supplier in 2015, when an older partnership with McLaren was revived. But the new collaboration didn’t go well in its first season, McLaren-Honda finishing next to last in the constructors’ championship, with only 27 points, no podiums, and several retirements. The main culprit for that was an underpowered engine and some reliability issues. Things picked up in 2016, when the updates developed last year helped McLaren-Honda finish more races in the top 10 and score 32 points in nine events.
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Why it matters
A revised intake system might not sound like a big deal, but it could make a significant difference for a team that’s still struggling to find its pace. With the upgraded turbine reducing the engine’s output by a few horses, which proved costly in Canada and Azerbaijan, Honda is now hoping that a revised intake system will at least give the McLaren race cars a better chance to clinch a podium finish on twisty tracks such as Silverstone. It remains to be seen whether or not McLaren-Honda will climb higher in the rankings by the end of the season, but its current progress is encouraging to say the least.