Honda wants to introduce a qualifying power mode with its next Formula 1 engine upgrade.

The Japanese power unit manufacturer scored its first win since 2006 as Red Bull driver Max Verstappen charged to victory at the Austrian Grand Prix, having already achieved Honda’s first podium in over a decade at the season-opener in Melbourne.

Honda introduced its latest engine update - dubbed Spec 3 - at the French Grand Prix two races ago, and boasted improvements in both performance and reliability.

Asked whether a stronger qualifying mode is the next step, Tanabe replied: “Yes, qualifying mode but race as well.

“We try to use our PU as hard as we can, but it’s not easy it go higher immediately. We keep development and maybe the next step or update.

“We see a bigger gap in qualifying to the others,” he added. “In the race, we’re still behind [in race pace] but not as much as in qualifying.

“It means that in our next step we need to catch up with them more in qualifying, but it’s not easy.”

But Tanabe stressed such an update would not be available for the immediate future.

“I don’t tell you know and also we need to discuss with the teams, individually, and then we’ll decide, but not in the next race,” he said.

“It means we need to keep pushing very hard, to get the confidence that we are strong and that when we make no mistakes we will win.

“We want to have that level and need to keep pushing.”

Verstappen added: “I’m looking forward to Silverstone, especially after our win in Austria last weekend. It was a really special moment for everyone in the team and for Honda - all the hard work is beginning to pay off."

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