Honda working on durability of next F1 engine upgrade for McLaren

Honda is working on proving the durability of its next Formula 1 engine upgrade and is encouraged by the numbers on the dynos back at its base in Sakura

Honda working on durability of next F1 engine upgrade for McLaren

The Japanese manufacturer spent two development tokens on an internal combustion upgrade for McLaren ahead of the British Grand Prix and has 11 remaining.

Though Honda chief Yusuke Hasegawa told Autosport earlier this month the firm is planning to wait four or five races before introducing its next update, he said that timescale was flexible depending on progress - with signs encouraging at present.

"We always keep developing so as soon as we can prepare something, there is no reason to wait to introduce it," he told Autosport.

When asked about the numbers on the dyno at the factory for the next upgrade, Hasegawa said: "We saw some elements are good.

"We just have to prove that it is OK as a package and also we need to complete durability confirmation.

"There is no end for the development.

"We have some room to improve, especially from an ICE point of view.

"I think we will spend all tokens for this year."

Though this weekend's German Grand Prix venue Hockenheim requires strong top speed, Hasegawa is optimistic about McLaren's chances of scoring again.

"At Silverstone we were not very weak but in the midfield, so I expect to challenge for points in Hockenheim as well," he said.

"In Spa or Monza, it will be very tough, but I expect to get some points at Hockenheim."

McLAREN NOW FOURTH FASTEST?

Fernando Alonso finished seventh for McLaren-Honda in Hungary last weekend, a result he declared "best of the rest" behind the "out of reach" Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari.

Williams currently occupies that fourth spot in the constructors' standings, with McLaren 56 points further back in seventh.

But Williams technical chief Pat Symonds acknowledged that McLaren was probably now among its rivals at every race.

"The fact is I still believe that we are the fourth quickest car but it's getting really tight now," he said.

"Even McLaren are fighting to make that claim.

"But between ourselves, Force India and arguably McLaren, I think we are scrapping for fourth.

"Then Toro Rosso will have their good days like they did in Hungary and they will say that they're fourth."

BEST OF THE REST IN 2016

Alonso called the race behind Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari a 'mini-championship' - here's who has been coming out on top in it at each race so far this year.

RACE TEAM DRIVER RESULT GAP TO 1ST Australia Williams Felipe Massa 5th +59s Bahrain Haas Romain Grosjean 5th +1m18s China Williams Felipe Massa 6th +1m16s Russia Williams Valtteri Bottas 4th +50s Spain Williams Valtteri Bottas 5th +45s Monaco Force India Sergio Perez 3rd +14s Canada Williams Valtteri Bottas 3rd +46s Europe Force India Sergio Perez 3rd +25s Austria McLaren Jenson Button 6th +38s Britain Force India Sergio Perez 6th +1m17s Hungary McLaren Fernando Alonso 7th +1 lap 


CONSTRUCTORS' CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Pos Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 378
2 Ferrari 224
3 Red Bull/Renault 223
4 Williams/Mercedes 94
5 Force India/Mercedes 74
6 Toro Rosso/Ferrari 45
7 McLaren/Honda 38
8 Haas/Ferrari 28
9 Renault 6
10 Manor/Mercedes 1
11 Sauber/Ferrari 0

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