Formula 1

Mercedes Andy Cowell: Honda potential should not be discounted

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McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team MCL32. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team Engine Boss Andy Cowell says that despite the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team’s poor start to the 2017 season, Honda should not be overlooked.

The Japanese manufacturer’s reliability has been woeful since returning to the sport as engine supplier to McLaren in 2015, but Cowell believes that a company with the talent and experience of Honda will eventually come good, and that is likely to be sooner rather than later.

The idea behind Honda’s 2017 power unit is one that Head Of F1 Project Yusuke Hasegawa feels will eventually lead the Woking based squad to become title contenders once again, despite their below par performance once again in the first half of 2017.

McLaren scored their first double points finish of the season at the Hungarian Grand Prix last time out however, with Hasegawa often mentioning how the scrapping of the token system in 2017 has allowed them to develop their concept with much more ease and freedom this year.

It is this fact that makes Cowell wary of Honda’s potential to turn their situation around with devastating effect.

“The request came from manufacturers in addition to Honda saying, ‘Please can we take this crazy token table away because it’s bad for the sport?'”

“It’s bad if somebody can’t train to get better and so we agreed, ‘Yes, take the table away, because it’s better for the sport’. “It means that you can innovate, you can introduce whatever you like.

“I think none of us should underestimate the technical prowess of Honda and of McLaren and I think my money is on that combination coming good and coming good pretty quickly.”

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