Honda has prepared a more reliable and powerful engine in order to “leave Formula 1 with a bang” at the end of 2021.
That is the news from technical boss Toyoharu Tanabe, although he admits to being happy that Red Bull will continue to use Honda-based engines after the Japanese manufacturer quits officially at the end of this year.
“This is the best solution for everyone involved,” he told Speed Week when asked about Red Bull’s in-house engine deal.
“I am glad that we can support Red Bull Racing and Alpha Tauri in this way and also contribute something to Formula 1. In a way we will stay connected to the sport, as is worthy of our history in Formula 1,” the Japanese added.
For the final official season, though, Honda has pressed its foot on the throttle to fast-track the engine that was originally scheduled only for 2022.
“We want to leave Formula 1 with a bang,” Tanabe-san said.
“When nobody was talking about corona, our plan was to use this engine in 2021. Then came the pandemic, then the lockdown. We decided to postpone the introduction of this engine until 2022.
“But then the group management decided to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2021, so we changed the plan again and accelerated development,” he revealed.
“It was not easy to get the timing right with all of these changes, but we did it. We want to do our best before we say goodbye.”
He said the new engine is currently performing well on the test benches.
“In order to increase performance and reliability, we worked on the combustion engine, the turbocharger and the energy recovery,” said Tanabe. “We also tried to install the engine in the car in an even better way.
“The findings from the test benches meet our expectations.”