Honda has confirmed Jenson Button is on to his second engine of the season after his first one suffered a mechanical breakdown last time out in Bahrain.

After the Japanese manufacturer's woes in 2015 saw it shred through its allotted number of engines, and as a result sustain hefty grid penalties, Honda's main objective with its new V6 Hybrid had been to cure its unreliability. However, problems still remain after Button was forced to retire on lap six with a mechanical issue on his internal combustion engine (ICE).

Honda's chief F1 engineer Yusuke Hasegawa has confirmed the ICE unit has been replaced in Button's car for China and his team is currently analysing the faulty unit to uncover the cause of the problem to ensure it is resolved in future engines.

"There was a mechanical issue on Jenson's ICE which we will replace for the upcoming race weekend," Hasegawa said. "The situation has been thoroughly investigated, and will be rectified in all future engines to be used."

Assessing Honda's early gains in other areas, Hasegawa feels Stoffel Vandoorne was able to demonstrate the added power and consistency from the power unit which he feels puts McLaren in a positive position for the Chinese Grand Prix.

"As we saw from Stoffel's pace in Bahrain, we have surely come a long way since last year," he explained. "We still need a bit more overall package performance to tackle the long, one-kilometre straight in Shanghai, but it's reassuring to know that we're heading in the right direction."


 

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