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Honda upgrades power unit for French Grand Prix

19 June 2019

Honda Racing F1 will be running an upgraded Spec 3 Power Unit at the French Grand Prix this weekend, across Red Bull’s cars and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat’s car.

The upgraded engine, which has changed mainly around its turbocharger, will be implemented across Red Bulls’ Max Verstappen, Pierre Gasly and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, who will incur a grid drop as a result of the change. The engine will not be placed in Toro Rosso’s second car driven by Alex Albon to avoid a grid penalty.

Toyoharu Tanabe, Technical Director at Honda Racing F1 concedes while the power unit does not match that of Mercedes, Honda hopes they will get to showcase their abilities at the Paul Ricard circuit and its Mistral straight which is ideal for overtaking opportunities.

He comments: “The changes to the previous specification are mainly around the ICE and the turbocharger. In this instance, our engineers at the Sakura, Japan R&D facility have worked closely with other departments within Honda, specifically the Aero engine development department. Their work and ours has many common technical features. For example, our 2018 update to the MGU-H, which dramatically improved its reliability, came as a result of our collaboration with them. In producing this Spec 3 PU, we have updated the turbocharger thanks to the knowledge and technology of the Aero engine department in the area of aerodynamic design, working alongside turbocharger manufacturer IHI.

“Our test bench data shows a power increase over the previous version of our PU, however we know that we have not yet matched the figures from the manufacturers currently leading the championship. But it’s a step in the right direction and we will continue our development throughout the rest of the season, calling on the resources of the whole company.”

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