Earlier this month, Honda revealed they had been forced to up their budget for 2016 and were making certain fundamental alterations to the architecture of their F1 power unit.
The eagerly anticipated reunion between McLaren and Honda failed to live up to expectations in 2015. Not only was the Honda engine persistently around 2 seconds off the front running pace, but from 38 possible race starts, the two cars failed to finish 14 times and rarely made it out of the first qualifying session.
Again the expectation is high given the information Honda have released on their 2016 power unit, yet the latest news is that with just days to go before the first test in Barcelona, Honda are having significant reliability problems according to Spanish publication Marca. Whilst Honda’s 2016 F1 power unit is more powerful than its predecessor, it is still highly unreliable says Marco Canseco. Part of Honda’s solution to the lack of power last season has been to increase the size of the turbo, however, the latest and most intense dyno testing has exposed persistent turbo failure. The issue facing Honda again is that of overheating and this despite the RPM of the turbo blade being reduced from 120,000 to just 100,000 for 2016.
Fernando Alonso is set to take the wheel of the McHonda MP4-31 for the first day of testing, so in just five days’ time we will see whether the team are nursing the car in terms of comparative pace, or whether a raging inferno sees Fernando’s Barcelona test nightmare’s return.