Honda has vowed to work throughout the forthcoming holiday season to get back up to speed in formula one. With McLaren, the Anglo-Japanese collaboration faltered badly in 2015 as Honda returned to the grid with a badly under-prepared 'power unit'.
Boss Yasuhisa Arai admits it took Honda until mid-season to identify the main problem - the so-called 'deployment' of the energy recovery systems - "but we could not resolve it during the season", he told Speed Week. So the Spanish newspaper AS reports that Honda is vowing now to work non-stop throughout the forthcoming holiday season.
"Our philosophy will continue, but it will be a completely new engine," Arai-san said. "It is designed and the tests have begun. We have a lot of work ahead of us so perhaps we will not have holidays -- I think it is good to keep on working."
Throughout McLaren-Honda's abysmal season, arguably the biggest surprise has been the composure and patience of Fernando Alonso -- a driver more commonly associated with Latin histrionics. "Last year was more frustrating," said the former Ferrari driver. "Everyone would be blaming one another, all trying to prove his work is good, and so to see this project has made me improve and become a better person."
He famously lost his cool at Suzuka, however, describing Honda's work as a "GP2 engine" for all of the carmaker's congregated big-wigs to hear on the radio. But Alonso said: "That it (the outburst) was in Japan was good, because with our problems we know what to do, but we need the full involvement of everybody, more budget, more people."
As for those who are 'surprised' by how calm Alonso has been in 2015, the Spaniard answered: "I think it is something that has always been there -- that (perception that) there are always problems with me or I get angry. "I have to say I am surprised because quite often I finished the world championship at the final race without success, sometimes dramatically like Abu Dhabi in 2010 and Brazil 2012, but I always put the best of me, keeping a good attitude and staying close to the team."
"Now we see that Mercedes is dominating the podium but throwing caps at each other, not talking ... and nobody says anything! And when I'm positive, working with the team with a good attitude if I'm tenth, second or first, it is my attitude that is surprising," he added. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing