Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai says the engine manufacturer hopes to be “marginally less conservative” at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
With McLaren having completed so little pre-season running, the team was forced to run the engine at less than its full potential just to be able to try and finish the race in Australia. Racing director Eric Boullier said Honda had “downtuned everything” to be able to get the car through a race distance, but Arai now says it was only slightly down on power and may not be able to extract more from the power unit this weekend.
“Melbourne being our first race of the season, we were only able to approach the race with a conservative setting on the power unit, maintaining a slight margin off of the full output,” Arai said. “One car was able to finish the race whereas one car suffered power unit hardware issues.
“We know that Malaysia will be tough on the power unit with its high temperature and high humidity environment, as well as the abrupt braking and acceleration required for the circuit. However, we will evolve to set our control data to adapt more to this circuit.
“We do not yet know if we will be able to do that in a marginally less conservative manner than we did in Australia, but that will be our initial target.”
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