Honda has detailed on its Energy Store upgrade for the 2021 F1 season which they have brought forward from 2022, in order to fight Mercedes this year.

Over the winter period, Honda brought a significant upgrade to its Internal Combustion Engine to help Red Bull start of the 2021 F1 season in a much better position. Although the specifics of its performance against Mercedes unit is not clear, but considering how the season has been so far, the gap between the ICEs wouldn’t be huge.

Mercedes has been a benchmark for years now. Ferrari nearly outdid them until the 2019 fiasco, which set them back. Honda, meanwhile, stepped up since joining hands with Red Bull and the performance push can be seen. Considering that it will be their last year in F1 in official capacity, the Japanese manufacturer wants to leave on a high.

After they brought forward their ICE upgrade from 2022 to 2021, Honda has revealed that it did the same with its ES, which made its debut from Belgian GP onward. The work has been a big effort between the Japanese manufacturer and Red Bull at their base in Milton Keynes, with due support also coming in from the automobile side.

Honda believes the upgraded ES will have long-term benefits, especially with curtailed development of the power unit specs from F1 2022 onward. The main aim for the update was improvement in energy efficiency and significant weight reductions. As per them, it is ‘lighter, low-resistance and is highly efficient’.

The team at Sakura feels the ES did make the difference in Max Verstappen’s improvements seen at Spa-Francorchamps, Zandvoort and also Monza. “This new ES has been developed in a project that has taken several years, with an aim to combine improvements in energy efficiency with significant reductions in weight,” said Honda F1’s head of power unit development Yasuaki Asaki.

“In what will be the company’s final season in the sport, Honda F1 has managed to introduce the new ES – fitted with a lighter, low-resistance, highly efficient and ultra-high power battery cell – just in time for the start of the second half of the season. In order to achieve the ultimate goal of defeating Mercedes and winning the championship before leaving F1 at the end of the 2021 season, we recognised the need to enhance performance.

“As such, the development plan for the new ES was brought forward substantially from the original goal of 2022 to introduction during the 2021 season. Even after Honda leaves F1, this new battery technology will contribute hugely to Honda’s future technology to create a carbon neutral society, lead the advancement of mobility and enable people everywhere in the world to improve their daily lives,” summed up Asaki.

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