Honda still uncertain over power unit upgrade for Malaysian GP

Credit: McLaren Media Centre

Yusuke Hasegawa believes this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix will be tricky to find a good balance with the car with the changeable weather conditions.

McLaren-Honda had a disappointing Singapore Grand Prix after only Fernando Alonso saw the chequered flag. The Spaniard finished in seventh after he was unable to keep Scuderia Ferrari behind him after briefly running in fifth.

Jenson Button had to retire from the Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit as a precautionary measure due to soaring brake temperatures. His race was already heavily compromised after a first lap clash with Valtteri Bottas.

“The Malaysian Grand Prix will no doubt be another hot and humid battle to be fought amongst the drivers,” said Hasegawa. “The changeable conditions mean it will be tricky to find a good balance with the car, and the rain can of course give us an added challenge.

“The circuit in Sepang is an undulating mix of long straights and sweeping corners, which all make for an exciting race with lots of good overtaking battles.

“More importantly, this will be a race to celebrate as Jenson makes his 300th Grand Prix start, which is an incredible milestone and achievement in such a demanding sport. We’re lucky to have two world champion drivers in the team with such experience, and hope that we can finish with a strong result for everyone in the team.”

Honda are planning on bringing their final engine update this weekend but it is yet unclear if both Button and Alonso will receive the update. Hasegawa confirms they are still unsure if they will be installing any power unit upgrades. With Honda planning on making a final decision at the track.

“We are not 100 per cent certain if we will install any power unit updates for this race, but we’ll look to make our final decision at the track based on the balance of performance and reliability.”