Honda’s turbo upgrade at the Canadian Grand Prix is focused more on race than qualifying pace, says Fernando Alonso.

McLaren will receive an upgraded Honda power unit as well as a new fuel from ExxonMobil in Montreal, with the Japanese manufacturer spending its first development tokens on the turbo. While the fuel is expected to deliver around 0.1s in terms of lap time, Alonso says the Honda upgrade is more focused on race performance.

“I think it’s just an update on the power unit with a new turbo that will allow us to have a little bit more harvesting from the engine,” Alonso said. “That’s always a good thing, but it’s not necessarily more power.

“Let’s say for a race situation it will help a little bit in managing the batteries or deploying a little longer on the straights. It’s not a big difference in qualifying, but let’s hope so for the race.”

And Alonso says Honda still has a lot of work to do in terms of bringing an increase in overall power output.

“I think it’s tough here for the fuel and it will be tough again this year no matter what harvesting you have. But everything is moving in the right direction, so it will be another step forward for us. It’s still a long way to go, especially in terms of power, which is the main limitation now. In terms of MGU-H and harvesting we are not so bad this year compared to last year, so this is obviously welcome and another step, but there is still a long way to go.”

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