Jun.4 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Honda still has its sights on the podium in 2015.
After a highly unreliable and uncompetitive start, the new works collaboration with McLaren netted its first points last time out in Monaco.
McLaren-Honda is openly expecting to struggle on Montreal’s long straights this weekend, but the collaboration is also pushing ahead with improvements.
Team boss Eric Boullier touched down in Canada with his luggage full of new car parts, and Honda has spent a couple of its in-season performance ‘tokens’ for a power boost.
Speed Week reports that the upgrades are not just to the internal combustion engine but also the turbocharger.
Honda’s F1 chief Yasuhisa Arai said: “In winter testing, many unexpected difficulties arose and we lost a lot of time because we were not running.
“But now we have an engine that has been improved so much that we could almost speak of a new power unit. We firmly believe that we will be in the points regularly.
“Ideally, we would have been targeting a podium in the summer,” said the Japanese.
Arai said it has been difficult for McLaren-Honda to live up to the hype of its iconic past.
“Everyone still thinks of the old McLaren-Honda, winning 15 of the 16 races in 1988, and it put a lot of pressure on us.
“Nevertheless, we are still looking to be with Ferrari and Williams in 2015, and the medium-term objective must be to catch up with Mercedes,” he added.