Honda unmoved by talk of reliability troubles

Honda says it is unmoved by talk that it is facing fresh reliability dramas with its Formula 1 engine, and insists its true form will only be found out once pre-season testing has finished.

Honda unmoved by talk of reliability troubles
Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-30 locks up under braking
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-30 stopped on the circuit in the second practice session
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-30
Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-30
Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-30
Jenson Button, McLaren Honda
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The Japanese car manufacturer has been surrounded by speculation for weeks about the performance of its revamped 2016 engine.

On the one hand, reports have suggested that the new power unit had made a dramatic step forward in power terms, with Honda having successfully overcome its energy recovery system weaknesses that marred its 2015 campaign.

Reliability doubts

However, more recently, there has been talk of reliability problems related to new components on the power unit.

Sources have suggested that endurance testing of the new engines on the dyno has not yet hit distance targets, specifically in the turbo area of the power unit.

That has even prompted talk that Honda could, as a last resort, use 2015-spec parts during testing if reliability of the new components does not come up to scratch.

Speculation unfounded

However, Honda has made it clear that there is no plan to do anything other than focus on its 2016 power unit, although the exact specification of engine components may evolve throughout testing as the company fine tunes its developments.

Reacting to the latest speculation, a Honda spokeswoman made it clear that it was too early to state anything definitive about where the company was at, as the true picture would only emerge over the next two weeks.

"Reports on Honda's power unit performance and reliability are unfounded and speculative, and we ask fans and media alike to treat them as such," she told Motorsport.com.

"We will not know exactly where we stand until we finish the eight days of testing in Barcelona, so until then we have no further information. We are looking forward to getting back on the track."

F1 testing starts at Barcelona on February 22, the day after McLaren holds an online launch for its new MP4-31.

Additional reporting by Roberto Chinchero

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