Honda will be giving Fernando ‘The Spanish Samurai’ Alonso their upgraded Power Unit for Silverstone this weekend, unfortunately this means a back of the grid start due to penalties.
It is claimed that the upgrade is good for around 30bhp increase without causing reliability problems. Something that had actually been planned to roll out quite some time ago, as far back as Canada but was delayed due to reliability worries. Considering the continued failures without this upgrade, Honda are appearing increasingly desperate as the clock ticks and McLaren’s patience wears thin. No doubt the chiefs back in Japan are also mounting pressure on their F1 department to deliver. Further, it seems that Honda will likely drop their F1 programme should this upgrade package not deliver results. Honda has set itself an October deadline at which point it will decide it’s future in F1. Unsurprisingly this deadline coincides with McLaren and Fernando Alonso reaching decisions on their futures together.
The long rumoured Sauber deal was the brain child of ex-team principle Monisha Kaltenborn. The Japanese manufacturer now seems disinclined to go ahead in 2018 following her departure from the team. TJ13 understands that Sauber will likely stay with Ferrari leaving McLaren the last person standing when the music stops. Despite the past rumours, neither Ferrari or Mercedes are willing to cater for McLaren’s engine requirements and have quashed the possibility in the press recently.
This leaves only one choice for the Woking squad, at least for the short term. The new engine formula surely can’t come quick enough for McLaren.