New turbocharger to be used by McLaren Honda in Canada


Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button in the pits - Credit: McLaren Media Centre

Having deliberated for a number of weeks over how best to release engine upgrades at the same time as maximising their token usage, Honda have been given the go ahead to introduce a new turbocharger for its power unit at the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix.

Both Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso are expected to receive the update in Montreal, a third turbocharger of the season for each, which rather than just providing an extra boost in power has been introduced to allow them to more efficiently harvest energy, in turn giving them more energy deployment over a lap than they have currently been receiving.

Energy deployment has been a problem area for McLaren Honda for some time, so to receive a boost to this process will be extremely welcomed by both McLaren F1 drivers, after being at a competitive disadvantage to their rivals for so long. The Woking based squad have particularly struggled during the all important qualifying sessions at a race weekend, so the upgraded turbocharger should hopefully see them perform much stronger on a Saturday, and allow them to achieve their goal of getting both cars through to Q3.

The modification will cost the Japanese manufacturer two of their development tokens, which will leave them with twelve remaining at their disposal. Cleverly using these tokens across the season has been important to Honda, which is why they have been holding off introducing new components, unless they believe a good step forward can be achieved. Introducing the turbocharger alongside the new ExxonMobil fuel mixture available to them this weekend, should ensure maximum gains for the team.

So, will we see both McLaren F1 cars line up in the top ten for the Canadian Grand Prix, at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Sunday?