Honda pleased with F1 power unit progress over winter

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Newly-appointed head of Honda’s Formula 1 project Yusuke Hasegawa is pleased with the progress that the Japanese manufacturer has made with its power unit over the winter and during pre-season testing.

Honda returned to F1 in 2015 as an engine supplier to McLaren, but was blighted by a number of issues that limited the British team to just 27 points from 19 races.

Honda worked hard over the winter to ensure that 2016 would not offer a repeat, and the initial feedback was positive, with McLaren driver Jenson Button saying that the power unit felt better than it had at any other point.

Following the conclusion of pre-season testing in Barcelona, Hasegawa was cautiously optimistic about Honda’s chances going into the new season.

“The two weeks of testing here in Barcelona have been generally good for us, as we were able to confirm the improvements in reliability, deployment and engine performance that we focused on during the off-season,” Hasegawa said.

“Especially in the second test, the fact that we ran the power unit without any issues for four days straight is a good result for us.

“We still need to perform final checks and preparation for reliability on the dyno, and finalize the power unit data, but we have surely and steadily progressed in our preparation for Melbourne.

“It is difficult to determine the outright performance of the whole package yet with testing alone, but for Honda, it is very important to keep pushing ourselves during the season to improve our competitiveness and achieve points finishes.”