Sep.7 (GMM/ McLaren’s Honda era could get an earlier than expected start.

Just days ago, the returning Japanese manufacturer’s F1 chief Yasuhisa Arai said it is “very likely” the first run of its all-new turbo V6 engine would be at the official start of the winter testing season next February.

“Jerez will be the first time,” he announced.

But as far as McLaren is concerned, that might not be right, even though team boss Eric Boullier said at Monza that he is “100 per cent aware” of what Arai said.

“Regarding the first test of the McLaren, Honda-powered car, there is no decision yet about when and where. This is still open,” the Frenchman insisted.

“It is true there was a comment, but we will not give a definite answer now because we do not know exactly, but it is very likely it will be before Jerez,” added Boullier.

That ties in with rumours McLaren is currently working on an adaptation of the currently Mercedes-powered 2014 car to accommodate the Honda ‘power unit’ for testing.

Asked if it could debut at the end-of-season test in Abu Dhabi, Boullier agreed: “Yes.

“This is not definite,” he insisted. “It is true the safe side is we will be in Jerez with a McLaren-Honda car.”