Honda motorsport chief Toyoharu Tanabe notes that the results in F1 2021 will have no effect on the Japanese manufacturer’s decision to leave.
Honda is to leave F1 at the end of the 2021 season, but will still continue to provide its engines to Red Bull and AlphaTauri, not as a manufacturer but more in the customer format. The team will have their own personnel managing the department.
For now, they haven’t finalised how it will eventually work out, as discussions are still on as per Tanabe. It is also not clear how many of Honda engineers will be hired by Red Bull to work on the project as Red Bull employees from 2022 onward.
“I’m not involved very much about that project,” said Tanabe. “I just heard the basic direction has been agreed between Honda and Red Bull and now they are working on the detailed procedure for how to handle that project in the future.
“As for personnel, at the moment, it is same thing. It’s also under discussion,” noted Tanabe, as he added that their decision to leave will have no effect on the results, where they are projected as title contenders for the 2021 F1 season.
He informed that their results is not the reason why Honda is leaving F1 for. “Honda’s decision about leaving Formula 1 is not related to our results,” said Tanabe. “Regardless about our results from this year, we are going to leave. It does not effect.”
The positive side is due to their approach of going all-in, in 2021, where they have a new power unit, albeit, a mix of old and new, where they have reviewed every part. While not directly stating about zero concept engine, Tanabe put it as ‘compact’.
“We reviewed every single part and then the kind of concept of our previous PU and then we designed this year’s PU as a new PU,” said Tanabe. “Of course our desire to improve our performance in our PU means ICE and ERS.
“Also with the new design we made it a little bit more compact compared to previous PU. I think it has contributed to the car package and performance as well. It’s a little bit difficult to tell exactly where it’s smaller and where it’s bigger, so generally I can tell, smaller, that means compact.”
There is certain power surge from Honda side, as seen, with the performance of both Red Bull and AlphaTauri in Bahrain. In fact, Helmut Marko noted that rising temperature forced them to turn down their power and they were still able to fight Mercedes.
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