Honda believes their F1 engine is finally coming to a “decent level” after it showed a lot of progress at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso’s McLaren made an impressive run in the qualifying, getting the sixth place at the starting grid and finished the race at eighth. This was the first time Alonso scored points in two consecutive Grands Prix this season.
The Spaniard had a tough fight with Williams’ Felipe Massa. But despite his best attempts, Alonso did not have the speed to pass the Brazilian in the straights. Massa finished the race half a second ahead of Alonso.
Talking after the race, Alonso said “the lack of power was amazing” and Toro Rosso should be concerned for the next season when they switch to Honda power units.
Honda’s F1 project leader Yusuke Hasegawa had a different perspective on the race. He said: “Since Monza, our package and engine performance is almost at a decent level.
“It depends on the circuit characteristics. Sometimes the Williams and Force India is quicker. Sometimes, Williams, Force India and Renault is almost the same level of performance.
“We could maximise the current engine performance in Brazil, which is encouraging.
“From a power point of view, we’re a little bit behind the other engines. We are closing the gap, but we’re not there yet.
“This weekend, we’ve had no [reliability] issues, which is very encouraging.”
Alonso’s results in qualy and the final race are proof of Honda’s progress on their engines, Hasegawa added.
“As a total package point of view, that was our position, where Fernando finished,” he said.
“We are quicker than Williams and we are almost the same level as Force India.
“It’s a shame that we cannot overtake the Williams, but we are happy to protect the position from [Sergio] Perez.”