Horner sings Honda's installation praises


While McLaren's second place on the timesheets and 119 laps seems a millions miles away from where the Woking outfit was just a couple of years ago, so too Honda, which powered Red Bull and Toro Rosso to fourth and sixth yesterday, completing 2015 laps in the process.

"No major problems," said Guillaume Rocquelin, the Austrian outfit's head of race engineering. "We were a bit late getting out this morning due to a frustrating little niggle but we got that sorted out without any real fuss and once Max got into his stride, we enjoyed a very good first day."

"To do 128 laps on the first day of testing is a really good day," added Max Verstappen, "so I'm very happy with that. So far, so good, I'm looking forward to the rest of the week."

Tam boss Christian Horner, was also delighted, giving particular credit to the ease with which the Japanese manufacturer's unit was integrated.

"Ultimately power is a dominating factor," he told reporters, "but the installation of this engine into this chassis is probably the best we've ever had.

"When you look how neatly integrated it is into the chassis it really is a thing of beauty," he continued, "and I think the whole engineering team, collectively with Honda, have done a great job installing what looks like a Swiss clock into the back of our chassis.

"I think Honda has had a good winter and certainly they are reducing that gap significantly but of course what you don't know is what the others have done," he admitted. "If other have found another 50kw then we've got a big issue.

"We've been very impressed by the approach of Honda and the progress that they've made," he insisted. "For us, it's a vital piece of the jigsaw to get us into a competitive position not just for this year but for next year and potentially beyond."

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Published: 19/02/2019
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