Honda's 2016 F1 upgrades building towards big 2017 step - McLaren

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier claims Honda's development of its Formula 1 power unit this season is laying the groundwork for "a real step up" in 2017

Honda's 2016 F1 upgrades building towards big 2017 step - McLaren

Boullier feels although the Japanese manufacturer has the potential to make a significant step during 2016, it is better off biding its time to ensure everything is in place for next year.

Honda is the only manufacturer yet to spend any engine development tokens since the season started, with 14 remaining, and motorsport boss Yusuke Hasegawa is eager for one major development push rather than small steps.

Rival Renault is set to deliver its significantly upgraded package for this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, with an expected laptime improvement of around 0.4 seconds.

Boullier believes Honda can make a comparable gain during 2016, but that the most important work will be towards '17.

"I think Renault's style [of performance gain] is possible," Boullier told Autosport.

"We will see. They [Honda] are trying as they still have some tokens so they can use them.

"I think there is some learning for 2017 if they can change some stuff in the 2016 engine.

"I would do it this way: to try to improve, but with the bigger picture being to prepare for next year and make a real step up."

The Honda engine is proving far more reliable this season following strenuous efforts to improve in that area, but more power can still be extracted.

"The reliability was important for them obviously," said Boullier.

"We can find more performance, and we're working together on that.

"The complexity is how to improve the harvesting without deteriorating the power. If one goes up, the other goes down. You need to have both together.

"The energy needed to rotate and harvest is higher."

With energy harvesting improving, combustion will be Honda's next focus.

"You have to push for both. It's a bit complicated," added Boullier.

"But it is getting there. It is slow from the outside and slow for us. Obviously we would like to win now, but it is coming."

shares
comments
Working group helping Williams set Formula 1 pitstop pace
Previous article

Working group helping Williams set Formula 1 pitstop pace

Next article

Why Monaco remains F1's biggest challenge

Why Monaco remains F1's biggest challenge
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Plus

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge Plus

Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge

Faced with drivers complaining about the long-term health effects of car ‘bouncing’, the FIA stepped in to deal with it. JAKE BOXALL-LEGGE explains how the so-called ‘Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric’ works, and asks if it is fit for purpose?

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2022
Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers Plus

Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers

As Sebastian Vettel’s Formula 1 career has come to a close, figuring out where he fits into the greatest of all time order is a tough and subjective call. With the aid of statistics, attributes and history, here’s how the four-time world champion stacks up in the debate

Formula 1
Nov 19, 2022