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Honda spends seven tokens on Spa upgrade

Honda has spent a total of seven engine tokens on a new power unit upgrade ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix.

The tokens have been spent on upgrades to both the internal combustion engine and turbocharger, targeting improvements in the efficiency of the combustion chamber, turbo and compressor. Under the current engine regulations, improving efficiency is the key to unlocking power and Honda is keen to narrow the gap to rivals Renault, Ferrari and Mercedes ahead of races on two of the most power-sensitive track on the calendar at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza.

Honda plans to run the new upgrades on both cars during Friday practice in Belgium before deciding whether to continue using them over the rest of the weekend. The new components fitted to the cars of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button will be their fifth of the season, leaving them one further change away from a grid penalty with nine races remaining.

It is Honda's third in-season upgrade this year after spending two tokens on a turbo upgrade at the Canadian Grand Prix and two tokens on upgrading the air intake system at Silverstone. The Spa updates are a continuation of the upgrades so far and mean Honda has now spent 29 of its 32 tokens this year, with the Japanese manufacturer set to assess whether to spend the remaining tokens this year as its focus inevitably shifts to a much larger update over the winter for the 2017 season.