Yusuke Hasegawa says Honda is not yet ready to introduce an engine that it can 'turn up' for qualifying, but insists the firm is working hard to bring McLaren up to speed before the end of the year.
Though McLaren-Honda has made a notable step forward in qualifying this year compared with twelve months ago, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button have nonetheless lamented not having an engine that can run more power over a single lap in qualifying unlike their main rivals Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault.
Indeed, having flattered to deceive during the European Grand Prix in Baku when neither driver reached Q3 despite featuring inside the top ten throughout free practice, Hasegawa admits harnessing more power in qualifying is a key target but that it is still some races away.
“It is fair to say that we need more power, especially in qualifying, and in Japan we are developing all the time,” he insisted. “We need to wait a little bit of time to introduce that new specification.
“I think still we are struggling to catch up with the Mercedes engine. I can't tell the exact grand prix, but we are trying very hard about that.”