Honda: 'Very tight' to introduce F1 engine upgrade in Canada
|By Ben Anderson and Lawrence Barretto||Friday, June 2nd 2017, 09:13 GMT|
Honda has revealed it is "very tight" for it to introduce its Formula 1 engine upgrade for next weekend's Canadian Grand Prix.
The Japanese manufacturer has been plagued with unreliability since pre-season testing and still has a power deficit to rivals Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault, estimated by Fernando Alonso to be around 50bhp.
It had hoped to deliver McLaren its first major engine performance upgrade in Montreal but is running out of time to complete testing and prove durability.
"I don't give up and we are trying very hard [to be ready] but until Thursday [before the race], I can't decide," said Honda chief Yusuke Hasegawa.
"Already, we have had some performance [from the update], but if it is very small, it's not worth changing engine for the next one.
"We haven't started working on the settings.
"If we are not confident enough to set up that specification, it will cause some drivability issues, so the settings are also important.
"We have some other elements in development, we can introduce it if we can set up and if we can check the reliability.
"Everything is not ready. But we have some factors [that are].
"Maybe we stick with the next step of the engine, even if the next step up is very small, or can we try another step up in performance?
"It's very tight to introduce a big update for Canada."
Hasegawa says the update is focused on the internal combustion engine (ICE) with tweaks also planned for the turbine.
"The ICE is the biggest area we need to improve," he added.
So far this season, Honda has only changed engine maps, made reliability tweaks and introduced revisions to its induction and fuel system.
McLaren is the only team that has yet to score points this season, with Stoffel Vandoorne crashing out of 10th in Monaco last weekend.
Honda has sought extra help from independent engine consultant Ilmor and reportedly sounded out Mercedes too as part of a concerted effort to accelerate progress.
"If there was a level playing field between engine performance we would be comfortable now to be high end," said McLaren racing director Eric Boullier.
"We need that step from our partner for the second half of the season to deliver strong performance and score points."