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Honda with big engine worries: 125 hp are still missing

Wilhelm
Honda with big engine worries
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E s will be a long way for McLaren. Or as Fernando Alonso puts it: 'An exciting trip.' Whether it will be so exciting for the successful Spaniard has to be doubted. In Malaysia, the two-time world champion got a taste of what to expect in the next few weeks. The package is 2.5 seconds short of the tip. A second less than in Australia. And the Honda engine is still a lucky bag.

Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were united on the penultimate row. Behind is just one of the two hopeless manors. The McLaren drivers try to think positively. 'We can at least get to driving now. The learning process can begin,' said Alonso after the training session. The 130 laps in four training sessions were already a marathon from Honda.

Honda fights with MGU-K drive

The race ended after 21 and 41 laps. Both drivers retired due to problems in the engine area. The turbocharger went on strike at Button, and the electric motors and power electronics in the Alonso MP4-30 threatened to overheat. 'There were problems with the ERS cooling,' it said succinctly. But that's not the Achilles heel of the Honda V6. The most compact engine in the field suffers from an epidemic that also affected the competition a year ago. Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault had to make several improvements in this area.

It's about the drive of the MGU-K. The shaft is the most heavily loaded part in the drive and costs a fortune. Honda apparently has a different concept of gearing with the crankshaft than everyone else. And that causes trouble. Kevin Magnussen stopped in Melbourne because metal chips broke off from the MGU-K's drive and wreaked havoc in the engine.

At Buttons Motor, the data announced similar damage after the first day of training in Sepang. So its first drive source also had to be expanded. The various problems with the MGU-H that were reported were only consequential damage. If any. The turbocharger and the MGU-H were also changed at the same time.

McLaren finds 25 hp more since Australia

During the 14 days between Melbourne and Sepang, Honda partially cleaned up another construction site. The high temperatures in the V of the six cylinders are reasonably under control. This means that the sensors placed there also deliver reliable values ​​again.Honda dared to release 25 hp more in Malaysia than in Australia. 'We're still more than 100 hp behind,' revealed a McLaren man.

According to internal measurements, it should be exactly 125 hp. Honda wants to gradually push its way to the limit so as not to lose more engines. The difficulties with the MGU-K drive can be solved without using development tokens. It is a measure that serves the stability.

The starting difficulties of the Japanese have also delayed vehicle development. McLaren brought new parts to the car in Sepang that had been on the plan for some time. There was little point in trying them. If you don't get to drive, you can't run comparison tests. The aero package in Malaysia was correspondingly extensive: new nose, S-shaft, underbody runner, side boxes and slats.

Two versions of the nose were tested. With and without a stomach. For the race, McLaren opted for the belly. McLaren had to go through the crash test for this. The side pods left more air in the rear. With negative effects on aerodynamics. Martin Brundle judged after a visit to the circuit: 'I am not yet convinced by the car in the corners.'

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