Honda stated that it will evaluate whether it can use its engine more aggressively during the races to defeat Mercedes after that Red Bull lost the win in Bahrain.
While during qualifying, the Milton Keynes team seemed faster than Mercedes, the gap between the two rivals was smaller on Sunday.
Since the difference between the RB16B and the W12 was thinner, the reigning world champion team opted for a more aggressive strategy. Eventually, it paid off, and Lewis Hamilton was able to take the first win of the season ahead of Max Verstappen.
After the Bahrain GP, Honda said that it will analyze all the data to understand whether it can use its power unit more aggressively in the upcoming events.
Currently, there is a rule that forces the teams to use the same engine power both in qualifying and the race. However, each squad can vary on how much energy to use throughout the whole race weekend. Therefore, Honda will probably study a different energy deployment strategy to beat Mercedes.
Honda’s F1 technical director, Toyoharu Tanabe, said that the team will work to understand whether the approach used in Bahrain should be changed or not.
“We will review and consider this data,” said Tanabe.
“We need to see how much the power unit has been exhausted in this race, and we will then use it according to the characteristics of each circuit in the future.
“We plan to verify whether this usage was optimal. I think that it can be used without problems, but I plan to think about what I should do to use it properly in the future.”
Both Red Bull and Honda were disappointed after missing out on victory in Bahrain, and Christian Horner said that Bahrain’s loss stung after that the team showed a great pace.
“It was a disappointing result,” said Tanabe. “But Max was able to compete for the win in the first race of the year, and I think it’s a positive thing to see such a performance. I think it was a good race for the first race of the season.
“We did what we could. I think the team’s strategy was also optimal.
“However, I think that the lack of results means that it is still not enough. If someone asked me that ‘Are you 100% satisfied?’, I would have to say ‘no’.”
Finally, Tanabe is sure that this year Red Bull is way closer to Mercedes, and it can challenge the German team until the last race.
“Last year, we were only able to win when everything went well,” he said.
“In terms of the difference with Mercedes, I think this year we are in a better position.”