Honda and Mercedes will both introduce upgraded power units at the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend.
The Japanese manufacturer has notably been pushing power unit development this season, taking grid penalties in search of regular performance gains since partnering with Red Bull. The latest specification that is being introduced at Spa-Francorchamps will be the fourth to be taken, and is currently scheduled to be used in Alexander Albon’s Red Bull and Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso.
“We are introducing the Spec 4 version of our PU at this event,” Honda F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe confirmed. “As usual, we have focused on improving both reliability and performance, in the hope of achieving even better results with both teams in this part of the season. Our plan is that only Albon and Kvyat will run it at Spa, for strategic reasons, looking at the rest of the season as a whole.
“The driver swap between Albon and (Pierre) Gasly has no effect on how we operate at the race, and we continue to do our best to support all four of our drivers. As per the Sporting Regulations, Albon now takes on what was Gasly’s PU usage in terms of all the components that make up the PU and vice versa.”
As well as the Honda upgrade, Mercedes has confirmed it will also look to introduce a new power unit this weekend on both the works cars and its customers at Racing Point and Williams. A Mercedes spokesperson says “testing at the factory has shown improved performance and reliability,” with track testing to begin during FP1.