McLaren Honda is preparing to take the fight to Mercedes next season with Honda saying that they expect to match Mercedes’ power output in 2017 and McLaren’s racing director Eric Boullier saying the team is ready to win again.
McLaren is currently going through the worst period in its history and hasn’t won a race since Jenson Button won in Brazil in 2012. However, Yusuke Hasegawa, the Honda engine boss, has said that they expect their 2017 power unit will match Mercedes in terms of outright power.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) October 1, 2016
Speaking in a recent interview with F1 Racing Magazine Boullier said that the team is “more than ever” ready to win again.
Under Boullier the team has set longer term goals and has been working for the last few years to develop a winning concept. Now he said that if you take an average of all the races, “we are fighting with Ferrari in terms of chassis. Red Bull and Mercedes are better than us, but we are the best of the rest.”
Furthermore, if Honda can boost the engine next season then McLaren can be more aggressive in their aerodynamics under the new regulations.
At present Honda’s power unit houses the turbine and the compressor inside the vee of the engine but it is expected that they will change to the Mercedes layout next year of a compressor at the front and turbine at the rear of the engine which leaves room for a larger turbo.
The team’s driver Fernando Alonso is also confident and said that they “are going in the right direction”. He said that he believes that if he is to win a third world championship then he will do it in either a Mercedes or a McLaren-Honda.