The Honda engine is “very, very close” to the Mercedes

The Honda engine is “very, very close” to the Mercedes
The Honda engine is “very, very close” to the Mercedes
As Toto Wolff predicted, Honda did “tried everything” for this last season in Formula 1. The Japanese manufacturer, which equips Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri, is “very close” the performance level of the Mercedes power unit, according to Franz Tost, manager of the Italian team. Honda presented a brand new engine, smaller and more powerful, which won over the Austrian.

“I have to say Honda did a fantastic job at Sakura, this new power unit is a lot more powerful and smoother than in the past. I think Honda is really very, very close to Mercedes. I can only thank them. Japanese engineers. “ Red Bull will also resume operation of the engine in 2022 after spending three seasons with Honda.

For Tost, “Mercedes and Red Bull are on the same level, Red Bull maybe even faster”. Max Verstappen proved it at the Bahrain Grand Prix by pushing Lewis Hamilton to his limits.

With the same engine, AlphaTauri therefore has better weapons. “It’s a matter of hundredths of a second. We have improved, but so have the others. Now the question is who did a better job. And that I can answer at the end of the season.”, adds Tost.

AlphaTauri on track

AlphaTauri’s performance in pre-season testing and the Bahrain Grand Prix is ​​a testament to his progress. Pierre Gasly qualified in fifth position, even though the French driver had a complicated race after colliding with Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren in the opening laps. With the front wing and flat bottom of his car damaged, the driver stayed at the back of the pack throughout the race and ended up retiring four laps from the end. Yuki Tsunoda also made a great start on his Formula 1 debut, before finishing ninth.

Franz Tost believes that “The team is more and more experienced. Luckily, we haven’t experienced any fluctuations on the engineering side, which is very important, and also, on the operational side, we now have a strong team.”

Last year, Pierre Gasly won his first Grand Prix at Monza, but also the first for AlphaTauri. The Austrian leader believes in his team: “We have two really fast riders. Pierre with more experience, and Yuki as a newcomer, as a rookie, but I think he’s a fast learner. This combination should give us a more competitive package. than last year. “

In any case, he remains very confident: “I expect the same in Imola, we will see after what happens in Portimão.”

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