Honda has confirmed it will bring a power unit update to the Canadian Grand Prix, focusing on a boost in performance from the internal combustion engine [ICE].
Both Toro Rosso cars will be fitted with the upgrade for this weekend and, while the Japanese manufacturer hopes it provides a clear boost in power for the remainder of this year, it could also be pivotal to its 2019 season.
Red Bull is currently keeping a close eye on Honda's progress this season with a view to using the engines next year. Red Bull's contract with current supplier Renault is due to expire at the end of this season and it faces a choice between attempting to renew its deal or switching to Honda.
Honda technical director Toyoharu Tanabe revealed further details about the Montreal update and underlined the importance of engine performance in Canada.
"We are introducing an updated PU for this event, fitting it to both cars," he said. "The updates are mainly to the ICE, focusing on improving performance. The Montreal circuit is known for its long straights, where over 60 percent of the lap is spent at full throttle.
"There are slow corners after the long straights and this means that good driveability is again important as is rapid turbo response. All these features mean that the power unit is one of the key elements here, which is why it has traditionally been the venue for engine manufacturers to introduce updates.
"Energy deployment is tricky and fuel consumption also needs to be monitored carefully. The safety car has been a feature of many Canadian Grands Prix, so we need to be ready to react and make the right strategy calls in order to have a good result."
Red Bull is expected to analyse Honda's upgrade in the coming weeks before making a decision on its 2019 power unit supply by the beginning of July.