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More power for Alonso and Button: Honda is planning 4 engine changes

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More power for McLaren
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D he GP Hungary brought McLaren-Honda the first sense of achievement. 12 points, a fifth place for Fernando Alonso, a ninth place for Jenson Button. If there hadn't been a 17 second gap behind Max Verstappen when lapping back in the SafetyCar phase, Alonso would have even finished fourth. And Button probably eighth.

But that's yesterday's news. In Budapest the engine only played a subordinate role. In Spa he determines victory or defeat. You need power on the long full throttle sections of Kemmel and Blanchimont. Spa is also one of those tracks on which it is extremely difficult to recuperate enough power every lap of the race to fill the battery. Exactly those were the weak points of Honda so far.

3 tokens for combustion chamber changes

That is why Honda is taking part GP Belgium his second joker. Changes in the combustion chamber are intended to increase performance. That costs three tokens. Honda optimists talk about being at Ferrari level. This is questioned even in McLaren circles. Allegedly, not even half of the power is unleashed that would be necessary to challenge Ferrari.

It is also heard that Honda has reached the end of its wisdom with the latest changes. You still have 4 tokens up your sleeve, but apparently you don't have the necessary ideas. All modifications by the end of the season should improve reliability. Which sometimes means more power through the back door.

Honda will introduce the new engine specification twice. On Friday and Saturday, Alonso and Button will each receive two new engines including all the additional units. The mechanics have to change the drive unit 4 times.

Team principal Eric Boullier explains the background: 'This is how we replenish our pool of engines that we can then use in the next races. And we are only punished once for it. We have to because of the introduction of the new one Start the engine from behind anyway. So why not swap two times. You can't go further back than behind. We take the penalty on a route on which we can't calculate as much as in Hungary or Singapore. '

The problem with the tear-off visor

After the experience in Budapest, McLaren can no longer wait for the GP convoy in Singapore hits. ThatCar just keeps getting better. And Singapore could be the best race of the year for McLaren. GPS measurements have shown that Alonso was just as fast on his qualifying lap at Hungaroring from Turn 6 to Turn 14 as the Red Bull. The Spaniard lost half a second in the first two turns. The tires blocked when braking because they weren't really up to temperature.

McLaren also stepped up in Spa. The MP4-30 gets a new front wing, rear wing, underbody and modified baffles. The fourth version of the new front wing family will not arrive in Belgium until Saturday.

The aerodynamics of the McLaren are now so extreme that a strange problem arises. At the Hungarian GP, ​​one of the rear brake vents on Alonso's car was blocked with a tear-off visor for the second time this year. Thanks to the safety car phase, the McLaren mechanics were able to solve the problem without wasting time.

Studies have shown that the extremely slim design of the car at the rear means that the brake shafts literally suck in the visors. You are now wondering whether it is better to leave the tear-off visor in the cockpit.

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