Honda to revert to Spec 3 power unit in Brazil

Honda is to revert to its Spec 3 power unit for this weekend’s Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Honda introduced Spec 3 during practice in Russia and ran it in Grands Prix on home territory in Japan and kept it in Toro Rosso’s STR13 in the United States.

Both Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley were buoyed by the jump in performance provided by the latest specification, but Honda switched back to Spec 2 for Mexico.

This was due to the greater understanding in how to calibrate the older-spec engine for the atypically high altitude of Mexico’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Interlagos is another high-altitude venue, though at 800 metres above sea level is some 1,400 metres below Mexico City, and Honda intends to use Spec 3 this weekend.

Hartley, who scored points for the first time in eight races at the US GP with the new engine, is hopeful of repeating his result and is thankful to have the extra performance it provides.

"My pace in the last few events has been really fantastic and I had a great points finish in Austin, followed by a strong turn of speed in Mexico, even if it didn’t deliver the result we might have deserved.

"Therefore, I’m going into the last two races of the year in a really positive frame of mind. We will have the latest spec Honda engine on board and we know that it delivers much more performance.

"On top of that, the new aero kit adds some value and seems to suit my driving style. I believe we can be in good shape and we will be targeting some more points."

Toro Rosso is locked in a close battle with Sauber for eighth in the Constructors’ Championship, and was overhauled by the steadily improving Swiss team in Mexico, with the squads split by just three points.