Horner denies Wollf’s Honda engine comments

LE CASTELLET, FRANCE – JUNE 20: Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner looks on during the F1 Grand Prix of France at Circuit Paul Ricard on June 20, 2021 in Le Castellet, France. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner denied comments from Mercedes’ Toto Wolff that said Honda had made “a huge step forward” with the power unit, saying that the state of the PU is the same due to the homologation rules.

“They have made a huge step forward with their power unit,” Wolff had said. “The introduction of the second power unit. And their race car is good, no doubt about that.”

Horner denied those comments as the F1 homologation rules means all teams must run with the same specifications for the entire season, and not doing so would result in severe penalties.

“We’re not allowed to make progress,” he said. “I don’t know what he’s referencing there.

“I think that it’s the same specification as the first unit. We’ve run a much smaller rear wing, so that’s why the straight line performance was strong.

“I think Honda are doing a great job, but we don’t see a sudden significant increase in power.”

Honda technical director Toyoharu Tanabe said the team is making upgrades to improve the car, but that specifications of the power unit remains the same.

“On the team side we are introducing new parts so that we can evolve every race,” he said.

“The power unit is the same [specification] all the time, but we are learning better how to use energy management for every race.

“We are looking at the characteristics of each circuit, and I think that such daily developments are connected to the current improvement.”

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