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Honda “very close to Mercedes,” says Tost

Scuderia AlphaTauri Team Principal Franz Tost walks in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on December 10, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Clive Mason – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost says the updated Honda package is “very close to Mercedes.”

Both Red Bull and AlphaTauri run the Honda packages, the last ones they’ll receive from the Japanese manufacturer as it is retiring from the sport by the end of this season. Talking about its performance, Franz Tost said it is “very close to Mercedes.”

“The car is fast, hopefully reliable, and we have a strong package,” Tost said. “The team is becoming more and more experienced and fortunately there was no fluctuation among the engineers – that is very important.

“We have two very fast drivers. Pierre has more experience and Yuki is a rookie, but I think he learns quickly. This combination should ensure that we have a better package than last year.

“The new Power Unit is more powerful and drivable than before. We will see that in qualifying and also in the race,” he continued, saying Honda is “very very close to Mercedes.”

Tost, however, downplayed excessive expectations, saying they’re close to Ferrari and the rest. He also highlighted how close together the pack came, saying that “the midfield is very tight and hundredths of a second can make a difference whether you’re eight or 15th.

“I hope we can get everything together and that both cars will be in Q3 and score points on Sunday,” he concluded.

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