Honda committed to finding engine breakthrough, insists Dennis


McLaren is optimistic that it has made a breakthrough in convincing Honda to make changes it needs to ramp up its performance in Formula 1.

Although Honda's lack of straight-line speed was again highlighted at the Japanese Grand Prix, McLaren chief Ron Dennis says that there is a fresh sense of longer term optimism about their partnership.

It comes after a series of meetings he held with Honda senior staff in Tokyo, plus other talks that took place between McLaren and Honda staff at Suzuka.

"I was in Tokyo for several days beforehand," explained Dennis.

"I think the period I spent was extremely constructive and, over the course of this weekend, there have been discussions which are extremely constructive.

"The way that you build relationships and achieve things together is by coming together and not going apart, and being transparent, and working together to solve the issues.

"I cannot see anything positive coming out of public criticisms."

When asked if he was confident that Honda now understood what it needed to do, Dennis said: "I don't believe there is any doubt. Every level of Honda knows the challenge of F1, and knows exactly where we are."

Finding the limit

Honda is planning to make architectural changes to its power unit for next season, after realising that some of its design concepts are not ideal.

Dennis is well aware that progress on the power unit will not come quickly, but is eager to point out that recent reliability issues have been down to the team pushing so much for performance.

"The misconception that many people have is that every time you change the engine you give up a token," he said. "That is not the way it is.

"You develop the engines as much as you want. There is total freedom away from the circuit and with the number of engines used. It is only when you have significant improvement do you introduce an engine with a change of tokens.

"Theoretically, in an ideal world, that should be every fourth races, but we've tried to move forward faster and that has affected reliability and made the whole thing challenging.

"In the end, this very acute pain that we have inflicted to a certain degree on ourselves is the fastest way to get back to where we need to get to."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren
Article type Breaking news