In Canada just over a week ago, McLaren chiefs admitted their frustration was at boiling point after the team’s hapless Japanese partner failed to deliver the upgrade as scheduled.
Honda’s F1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa then said he could not promise it will even be ready for the following race in Azerbaijan.
But he has now told the Japanese publication Sportiva: “There will be some kind of improvement in the combustion engine in Baku.
“I don’t know if you can call it specification three, but we’ll definitely introduce something even if it is intermediate,” Hasegawa added.
The report said Honda has been working hard on ‘specification three’ at Sakura to address the current power unit’s problems, including excessive vibration and a 90hp performance deficit.
But Hasegawa played down hopes the new engine will completely end Honda’s 2017 troubles.
“If you improve the combustion engine, the temperature of the exhaust decreases by being more efficient, which reduces the energy recovered through the turbo and MGU-H, making it necessary to change these parts too.
“The situation is more complicated than people can imagine,” he added.
The outcome of Honda’s latest efforts to improve could be the final straw for the McLaren partnership, and also the next turning point in the career of Fernando Alonso.
“Due to some of his decisions, Fernando could be remembered as one of the lost talents of F1,” former Honda F1 team boss Nick Fry is quoted by Spain’s La Sexta.