Honda have refuted stories emanating in the Spanish media yesterday which suggested their reliability nightmare was set to continue. Claims that the Japanese 2016 F1 power unit has made a dramatic step forward in performance were countered by reports that it was failing to complete GP distances on the dyno.
Today, a spokeswoman for Honda tells Motorsport.com, “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.”
The Japanese manufacturer have been bullish about their redesigned F1 PU claiming they have solved the lack of electrical power problem which plagued them throughout the 2015 season. This was nowhere more evident than when the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson eased past Fernando Alonso into Turn 1 during the early laps of the Japanese GP. “It feels like GP2. Embarrassing. Very embarrassing. I’ll do my best…”, lamented Alonso on the car to pit radio.
Despite today’s rebuttal, Honda are not so bullish about what will happen at the Barcelona winter test starting on Monday. “We will not know exactly where we stand until we finish the eight days of testing in Barcelona,” said their spokesperson. “So until then we have no further information. We are looking forward to getting back on the track.”
McLaren fans and those neutral observers of the sport will be desperate to see a resurgence in the Woking team’s fortunes this year. Whilst McLaren are unlikely to challenge the top teams from 2015, it will surely be a concern for Red Bull and Force India that the former world champions may be racing once again with them both in the midfield.