Honda Confident Engines will Last GP

Honda are confident their engine will last the distance in the European Grand Prix tomorrow, after it came through the four practice sessions without a problem on BAR's return to the field

Honda Confident Engines will Last GP

The engine manufacturer's vice president Otmar Szafnauer said on Thursday they were concerned that the unit, which was used at the San Marino Grand Prix before the team were banned for two races, could fail at the Nurburgring.

But ahead of Saturday's qualifying session, Szafnauer told Autosport-Atlas: "Everything looks fine with the engine, no concerns. We were conservative yesterday, as you would expect, and not so much today.

"We are focussing on the race, really, because our qualifying runs are going to be first and second. Most of the work was done for set-up for a good race for tomorrow."

The team were planning to ask the FIA if they could use a fresh engine for their comeback race but were stopped in their tracks when the governing body clarified the situation ahead of this weekend's race.

Some teams have suggested their planned request was designed to enable them to bring in modified units developed during their time away that could have improved their performance.

But Szafnauer said: "Developments are planned well in advance - even testing, we plan testing well in advance - so when this unexpected hiatus came up we didn't change it, we didn't say 'oh, let's quickly do this, that or the other'.

"Although our engines are never the same when we change them, because we can't help ourselves continue to improve, but it wouldn't have been much different had we run a new engine here.

"The planned developments are for the North American Grands Prix, so I think that if we can qualify midfield and have a good race here then we should be well set for Montreal."

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