Eric Boullier says engine upgrade to be used at US GP is a positive step
But Japanese manufacturer admits overall power remains "weak"
By Mike Wise
Last Updated: 16/10/15 9:17am
McLaren’s Eric Boullier says the engine upgrade which will be introduced properly at the US GP is a positive step, although Honda admit their power unit remains “weak” overall.
Fernando Alonso ran with the upgrade briefly during practice in Sochi and both he and Jenson Button will use it in Austin next week.
"It was very positive, matching all the expectations we could meet on the data and dyno measures and everything worked as per plan," Boullier said at the Russian GP.
"We introduced this engine here because we knew its track layout, which is not suiting our package very much this year, just to give us some mileage and run it from the USA."
However, a lack of recoverable energy remains a problem as Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai admitted.
"On the ICE, the engine itself, is a scheduled improvement. But total horsepower with deployment is still weak," he said.
Both cars finished in the points in Sochi, although Alonso was later handed a time penalty for breaching track limits during the race which dropped him to 11th.
Button was classified ninth but said the deployment problem - which his team-mate called "embarrassing" at Honda's home race recently - remains a handicap.
"I was a sitting duck for the first couple of laps," he said. "I couldn't really fight off the people behind, my deployment was cutting off at the end of the straights, so it was very easy for people to overtake."
See if Lewis Hamilton clinches the 2015 world title in Austin with the United States GP LIVE ONLY on Sky Sports F1. Race-day coverage on Sunday October 25 begins at 5.30pm with lights out at 7pm.