Honda tried their third engine specification that brings additional performance and has shown encouraging results, but will not use it for the rest of the weekend.
Alonso and Vandoorne will start this race from the last two places due to the new MGU-H and turbochargers, but Honda also tested the new combustion engine in Alonso’s car to try some of the new upgrades.
The modified MGU-H brings improvements to its reliability, but the new engine also brings a jump in performance. It is not yet known how much horsepower it brings, but Honda engineers have been encouraged by direct comparison with the old engine.
Honda did not test all planned performance parts with the new engine, but will continue testing a new engine at the next race in Austria. Alonso has stopped in the second free practice session due to gearbox problems, so he has only completed 15 laps (nine drivers have completed over 30 laps).
Alonso and Vandoorne used a similar aerodynamic settings for the second free practice and Spaniard went 16 km/f faster than his team mate (330 vs 314 km/h) although official speed trap figures reveal that Alonso went 342.4 km/h compared to 319.7 km/h of Vandoorne, which is probably influenced by the tow.
Although the new engine brings a clear breakthrough in performance compared to the old, Honda will not use it because their drivers will still start the race from the back of the grid, which will give Honda time to analyze its performance and reliability prior to its new test in the upcoming race.