Honda "effectively has a new power unit this season"


Though the debate over whether Red Bull can mount a sustained challenge to Mercedes has yet to be resolved, Honda is pleased with its final power unit which has more power and improved performance.

Pre-season testing saw Max Verstappen post the best time, while Pierre Gasly, who is also powered by Honda, completed the most laps.

AlphaTauri joined Alfa Romeo in completing the most mileage, while between them the Faenza outfit and its sister team completed 791 laps, a far cry from those dark, distant days with McLaren.

Ahead of Honda's final season in F1, after which it will hand over its programme to Red Bull, technical boss, Toyoharu Tanabe is optimistic for both customer teams.

“From Honda's side, in order to improve our performance, we have modified many of our PU components so that we effectively have a new PU for this season," he said.

"Compared to last year, the new one has more power, a lower centre of gravity and is very compact," he added. "Therefore, apart from the power increase, the PU has also improved the overall packaging and therefore performance of both our teams' cars.

“During the three day pre-season test, AlphaTauri completed the most laps of all the teams and, combined with Red Bull, our PUs did a total of 791 laps, equivalent to 4,281 kilometres.

"This workload produced plenty of data that will be useful on the PU and chassis side for this weekend's race and both teams were happy with what they achieved.

"We welcome two new drivers to the Honda F1 family, the very experienced and quick Sergio Perez at Red Bull and the young rookie, Yuki Tsunoda at AlphaTauri. We feel they will form a strong pairing with their respective team-mates, Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly.

“This will be Honda's last year in Formula 1," he concluded, "and we feel we are very well prepared on all fronts, from the PU to the chassis to our two strong driver line-ups.

"We will take every race as it comes as we strive for our ultimate goal of winning the world championship."

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Published: 25/03/2021
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