McLaren racing director Eric Boullier says Honda will “power up” its power unit in Bahrain after improved reliability in the Chinese Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso finished 12th and Jenson Button 14th in China, with both cars finishing the race having failed to do so in Malaysia. While Honda has been working to improve reliability the power unit has been run conservatively, but after seeing the chequered flagwhile running “aggressive engine maps”, Boullier says Bahrain should allow the team to make another big step.
Asked by F1i if the race result was disappointing, Boullier replied: “No, frustrating yes because we are not where we want to be but not disappointing because we had no issues at all.
“So there was a major step in terms of the reliability package this weekend so there’s no issue. This is a good achievements, and now we know we can power up the engine. It’s only with the same base but we know we have some potential we can unlock with this engine, so it’s OK.”
With McLaren’s race pace looking more competitive than its qualifying, Boullier says it’s down to the way other teams can run their engines over one lap.
“We knew this because some of the other engine manufacturers have a special mapping for qualifying but during the race they have to turn it down. So in the race it is more in our favour, let’s say. It’s step by step and the good thing is we know what’s left.
“Reliability was a constant problem for us so today is a very good achievement and we know which steps we can still get out of this engine so already from Bahrain we can power up a little bit the power unit. In Barcelona then we have another spec coming, we keep going and improving every race.”
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