Honda is working on an all-new engine concept for 2017. That is the claim of Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, despite the fact McLaren's engine partner has made clear progress this year after the nightmare start of the works collaboration in 2015. "The car feels good and we're definitely heading in the right direction, but we need to keep pushing and working hard to bring more improvements and power for us to see further progression," said British driver Jenson Button.
Indeed, although McLaren-Honda is no longer a backmarker, the long straight in Shanghai showed that in engine power alone, the team is more than 10kph down on the field-leaders Mercedes and Ferrari. Auto Motor und Sport says more power is coming in Canada in June, reportedly by Honda replicating an innovative spark ignition trick pioneered by Mercedes.
But correspondent Michael Schmidt says Honda now acknowledges its fundamental mistake in having placed the turbo unit within the 'V' of the six-cylinder internal combustion engine. "The bitter pill is that the new engine will only be ready for 2017," he said. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing