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Toyoharu Tanabe thinks 2021 Honda engine is better than Mercedes’

Max Verstappen in the RB16B car. Credits: Red Bull Content Pool.

Honda’s technical director Toyoharu Tanabe has admitted that he is very confident about their new Formula 1 engine and that it looks faster than Mercedes’ for now.

After entering Formula 1 in 2015 and encountering a few years of struggle, the Japanese team is now back on top of Formula 1, combining their manufacturing experience with Red Bull’s great ability to manage an F1 team. Last year, Honda managed to win three races with Red Bull and AlphaTauri and they are certainly looking forward to winning even more for their last year as an engine manufacturer in F1.

Talking about his latest mechanical jewel, the Japanese technical director confirmed they had done big improvements with this year’s engine.

“I think we outperformed last year’s Mercedes”, Toyoharu Tanabe said.

“I hope we will be in a position to fight for the championship against Mercedes,” he added.

The team however keeps its feet on the ground, admitting that even if their power unit looks faster during winter testings, they are still doubting that the silver arrows showed their real potential in terms of power. The technical director says: “It depends on the conditions, but we have no idea how much improvement has been made this winter on the Mercedes. We will see when we start qualifying and after the race.”

This shows well the general doubt surrounding the F1 world after Mercedes’ very poor performance in the pre-season testing. No one wants to get too far ahead of themselves on the subject. Nonetheless, the hope for a real championship fight between Red Bull and Mercedes in the 2021 season remains.

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