JULY 24, 2015
Honda to use penalty-free upgrade in Hungary
Honda is unveiling a 'token-free' engine upgrade in Hungary and the McLaren drivers will even dodge penalties for racing it.
At the recent World Motor Sport Council meeting, it was agreed that F1 returnee Honda's allocation of four engines per driver should be increased to five in 2015.
But given that Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button have already served now-unnecessary penalties for fitting their then-unscheduled fifth engines, McLaren-Honda sought clarification about how those penalties will be 'paid back' in light of the rule tweak.
The solution now emerges.
According to Spain's Marca daily, the Honda upgrade in Hungary - reportedly featuring changes to the internal combustion engine - will be installed penalty-free.
Not only that, Honda has made the changes outside of the performance upgrade system, meaning that the struggling Japanese marque still has 7 'tokens' still to deploy in 2015.
"We still have no exact date for their (the tokens') use," a Honda spokesperson confirmed.
Alonso told Spanish media in Hungary: "I think it will be a second half of the season in which we will 'go up', although it would be very difficult to go down," he joked.
He predicted that Hungary, with its few straights, could be a good outing for McLaren-Honda.
"Spa and Monza will be quite difficult for us," Alonso acknowledged, "but from Singapore we will see a little clearer where we are in terms of results.
"I think we need to remain calm. We are so far behind that even improving a lot will not be very obvious in terms of results or how competitive we are," he said.
"But definitely we can only improve because we are far behind and we have to make the whole package better."