Honda says F1 engine approaching 'decent level'

Honda feels its Formula 1 engine is approaching a "decent level" after an "encouraging performance" in the Brazilian Grand Prix, where Fernando Alonso criticised the manufacturer again

Honda says F1 engine approaching 'decent level'

McLaren-Honda driver Alonso qualified an impressive seventh and finished eighth to score points in consecutive races for the first time this season.

He pressured the Mercedes-powered Williams of Felipe Massa all race but could not find a way past and finished less than half a second adrift.

Afterwards, Alonso said "the lack of power was amazing" and "is quite worrying for Toro Rosso next year".

But Honda F1 project leader Yusuke Hasegawa told Autosport: "Since Monza, our package and engine performance is almost at a decent level.

"It depends on the circuit characteristics. Sometimes the Williams and Force India is quicker. Sometimes, Williams, Force India and Renault is almost the same level of performance.

"We could maximise the current engine performance in Brazil, which is encouraging.

"From a power point of view, we're a little bit behind the other engines. We are closing the gap, but we're not there yet.

"We've had no [reliability] issues which is very encouraging."

Hasegawa believes Alonso's result in Brazil demonstrates the progress McLaren-Honda has made as a partnership since the start of the year.

"As a total package point of view, that was our position, where Fernando finished," he said.

"We are quicker than Williams and we are almost the same level as Force India.

"It's a shame that we could not overtake the Williams, but we are happy to protect the position from [Sergio] Perez."

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