Honda deliver upgrade for Monaco

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Honda’s methodical, if not much anticipated, progression and development of their hybrid engine could get a boost in Monaco or Canada according to a report at AUTOSPORT. Honda still has 14 tokens to spend this season and they haven’t done so yet but it does seem like they are seriously trying to extrapolate as much as they can from each iteration—perhaps a testament to their methodology and practical approach to maximizing each application. Honda’s Yusuke Hasegawa said:

“We keep developing,” Hasegawa told Autosport. “It’s possible to introduce some of the updates even next week.

“But I don’t want to waste tokens for a small update so we need to decide when.

“In Monaco or Canada, we will introduce a new engine [as part of the cycle] so with that timing, we have to introduce something but we haven’t decided what just yet.”

They may have chosen to wait on their token spend and upgrade package but that doesn’t mean they aren’t finding gains with the current version of the V6 turbo hybrid power unit.

“Although we are using the same spec from round one to here, all the races we are squeezing power from the same engine by trying different settings,” he said.

“From Sochi and in Spain, we are trying to introduce most full power settings during the race.

“Normally, we try to use that power just for qualifying but because we need more power, we have introduced modes for the race and it was fine.

“It was very encouraging.”

Honda’s development cycle is a massive factor in McLaren’s performance and to be sure the team would like to see serious upgrades that produce serious gains. Running in the points is fine but not where McLaren aim to be.

Even with the increased power, some wonder if McLaren’s chassis is a limiting factor as well and it’s a good question if you consider Renault down on power yet Red Bull winning the Spanish Grand Prix. A testament to just how good the Adrian Newey designed Red Bull chassis is. Just how good is the McLaren chassis anyway?



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charlie white

I have to wonder now if McLaren had remained as Mercedes-Benz/AMG customer, would they be the #3 team in F1 behind the works MB/AMG and Ferrari? Here we are in Year #2 of the grand Honda experiment and there has been some progress, yet McLaren is staying in the mid-field among 11 teams.


Autosport (or Ben Anderson in particular) rated all of the chassis based on their performance in Spain. He put McLaren in fourth place, behind Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari. So the Power Unit seems to be holding them back more than the chassis at the moment.


Hi Dave, do you know what criteria were used to assess the chassis?
It’s hard to imagine that the Mclaren chassis would be better than STR in particular, and possibly some of the others midfielders.
I guess Monaco could be a better indicator, though it may now be possible to see the difference between the brilliant McLaren chassis, and the new extra pokey Honda p.u ;-)


The article is here: and Ben Anderson states: “I watched the first and third free practice sessions for the recent Spanish Grand Prix from Turns 1/2/3, to try to gauge that order again now the teams all have four races under their belts. I have corroborated these visual impressions against GPS data to bring you my ranking of F1 chassis performance so far in 2016.” Toro Rosso is ranked fifth, just behind the McLaren. It is reckoned to be stable at high speed but loses out under braking and at low speed. McLaren seems almost the opposite, very good… Read more »


Thanks for the link Dave. It’s a good read. I guess that guys like Ben Anderson have the knowledge and experience to be able to assess the performance of a chassis from observing its behaviour, but the differences and behaviours must be very difficult to discern, and very hard to rank. Let’s see if Monaco shows McLaren in such a good light.

Peter Riva

They have to take the long-term view – they need engines for their sports cars and MB had told them 5 years ago that the contract was limited when the 500 came out. Given those criteria, there’s only one non-supercar company making supercar engines, right?

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x