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Honda F1 Engine Was ‘Faultless’ and ‘A Thing of Beauty’ in Testing

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Red Bull Racing - 2019 F1 Pre-Season Testing
Photo: Artes Max

Red Bull Racing has completed its first-ever pre-season test with Honda and so far has only positive things to say about the new engine.

Christian Horner, Red Bull Team Principal, said the power was good, but that it was the integration of the engine in the chassis that was “a thing of beauty.”

“The whole engineering team collectively with Honda have done a great job in terms of installing what looks like a Swiss clock into the back of our chassis,” he said, doing his best Ron Dennis impression.

By the end of testing, Honda engines had clocked in over 5,100 miles around the Circuit de Catalunya, well beyond anything it had managed in previous years, even accounting for the fact that Honda now supplies two teams rather than one.

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“Winter testing on the engine side has been faultless, it has to be said,” said Jody Egginton, Toro Rosso’s technical director. “It’s been fantastic.”

That being said, Honda says it did find a few issues caused by the car’s tight packaging. “The shape was a little bit too aggressive, so we need to make it a little bit different,” said Honda F1’s technical director, Toyoharu Tanabe. “It’s not a big concern.”

Despite Red Bull and Toro Rosso’s praise, Tanabe says he is “not confident enough” with the progress Honda has made with the engine, and believes he has identified a number of areas for further improvement.

Still, it’s looking much better for Honda than it has in years, and after all the talk of Red Bull having to take a hiatus from the championship battle in 2019, the team seems even more competitive than it was last year with Renault.

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