Honda motorsport boss Yusuke Hasegawa has explained the delay in spending power unit tokens to introduce upgrades is due to the various options available to the manufacturer.
Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault have all spent tokens on power unit upgrades already this season, with the latter even testing a B-spec engine earlier this week in Barcelona. Honda has yet to decide when it will introduce its first performance upgrade and Hasegawa told F1i there are many parts which have been developed but no one approach stands out as the obvious way to go.
“As a variation point of view I have a lot of options, but it isn’t very big so I don’t want to choose that kind of option,” Hasegawa said. “At the moment I am hesitating from introducing that kind of option by using tokens. That’s the reason.”
Asked if the upgrades which are ready would already have been introduced if there was no token system in place, Hasegawa replied: “Definitely, yes.”
And Hasegawa revealed he believes Honda could have a power unit which is on par with the current Ferrari performance level if it could introduce everything it has available to it.
“It is difficult to say but technically speaking our designs are - I can’t say the number - but almost based on the same as the Ferrari level of engine. Although we are not achieving that at the moment.
“So if we didn’t have the tokens and we were just adding more parts we could achieve that level I think. But currently to achieve this level we need more than 40 or 50 tokens. So that’s why we have to wait and have to choose which upgrade will be very effective to close the gap.”