Honda has installed some “countermeasures” to its Power Unit ahead of this weekend’s race in Imola following a handful of gremlins that surfaced during the season-opening event in Bahrain.
Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri AT02 was fitted with a new Energy Store and Control Electronics during the weekend while the same components were changed prior to the start of the race on Sergio Perez’s Red Bull RB16B.
On Sunday’s formation lap, Perez’s car suddenly switched off, however the Mexican was able to reboot the RB16B and start the race from the pit lane.
After the grand prix, Honda reviewed the data and determined where it needed to make alterations ahead of the season’s second round this weekend in Italy.
“The opening round of the season produced encouraging results for both our teams with the Honda PU being fastest in all practice sessions, taking pole and then finishing second, fifth and ninth in the race,” said Honda technical director Toyuharu Tanabe.
“However, the Bahrain weekend was not entirely trouble-free, therefore we have been working hard with both teams in this relatively long break before Round 2 to analyse all the data and take countermeasures where required.”
Honda’s last outing at Imola saw it take fourth place with AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat, while Gasly and Verstappen failed to see the chequered flag.
With AlphaTauri’s Faenza factory located near the Imola circuit, Tanabe says Honda is “highly motivated” to deliver a robust weekend.
“The Scuderia AlphaTauri factory is just 15 kilometres from the track, making it their home race, which is a further reason why we at Honda and their team members will be highly motivated to have a strong weekend,” Tanabe said.
“Last year, qualifying went very well for them and Red Bull Racing, but the race result did not reflect their true potential, so this time we hope we can have a smooth weekend leading to an excellent performance on Sunday.”