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McLaren get Honda engine upgrade for Silverstone

08 Jul 2016

Jenson Button’s hopes of a strong home race in Great Britain this weekend have been boosted by news that he and McLaren team mate Fernando Alonso will benefit from a Honda engine upgrade.

Having introduced a new turbocharger in Canada, which improved efficiency at the modest expense of power, Honda have brought their first of several intended steps of ICE (internal combustion engine) improvement to Silverstone, in the form of revised intake systems on both McLarens.

“We do have some upgrades, aero-wise, engine-wise, so it’s moving forward,” Button told the media on Thursday. “It’s never as a quick as you hope is it, but the guys are doing a very good job of bringing something to every race and on the power side it should be a positive step.”

Having doubled the efficiency of their ERS system since last year, enhancing harvesting and deployment and thus ensuring that the cars no longer run out of grunt before the end of even the longest straights, Honda’s focus has switched to improving their basic ICE.

Following a lot of painstaking reliability testing, the Japanese firm began making parts recently, and the intake system is the first of a series of improvements which will be phased in as the season continues.

While it’s unlikely to make a huge performance difference, the intake upgrade puts the power back to what it was before Canada, while the new turbo introduced then continues to add to the powertrain’s effectiveness.

With this upgrade using two engine development tokens, the team have a further 10 to spend before the end of the season.