Yusuke Hasegawa feels Honda will be able to improve the reliability of their power unit during the off-season, which will be please their 2018 team, Scuderia Toro Rosso, no end.
Honda and the McLaren F1 Team will part ways after three years of partnership at the end of 2017, with reliability and competitiveness both not being as strong as either party would have hoped, although in recent races the pace of the power unit has improved.
The current power unit will be the base of the 2018 effort, and Hasegawa, head of Honda’s F1 Project, insists work will be done to address the reliability issues as well as the performance deficits to the three other engine suppliers on the grid, Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault.
“This year, the biggest issue was we couldn’t confirm the base power unit from the start,” said Hasegawa to RACER. “So all the time we needed to develop and we needed to update, and introduce [updates] at a Grand Prix before we could confirm the reliability or the performance.
“For next year, of course we haven’t confirmed it yet, but at least we have the baseline that is the current engine. So we can use this engine at least, and we can circulate our development in the background. Then as soon as we have confirmed the reliability and the performance, we can introduce it at the Grand Prix.
“That way we have got more room to consider the performance and reliability before introducing upgrades.”