Honda has admitted it has detuned its engines for the opening round of the 2015 Formula 1 World Championship in an effort to reach the chequered flag of the Australian Grand Prix.
The firm has come under pressure ahead of its return to F1 as an engine supplier in collaboration with the McLaren team, with persistent technical issues hampering its preparations in the run up to the opening round in Australia.
It is a string of issues that have forced Honda to turn the wick down on the engine in an effort to preserve it and ensure the cars reach the chequered flag having not yet completed a full race distance without developing a problem.
"In Barcelona I expected a good place for us in Australia, but unfortunately we don't have the know-how and experience about running in high temperatures,” said Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai.
"We cannot lose the engine in the first race, so our data set is very conservative for the weekend, so that's the reason why we are down on power with the MGU-K and the engine itself. That's the reason why."
When challenged on how Honda expects to react to the higher temperatures it will likely face in the coming races in Malaysia and Bahrain, Arai says he is hoping this race will allow it create a fix.
“We've learned lots, so maybe some things we can fix before Malaysia.”
It was confirmed earlier today that Honda will receive 9 tokens
to use towards in-season development.