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Honda to Bring Spec 3 Engine to French Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen on his way to a fourth-place finish in Monaco
Photo: Honda

Honda will upgrade the engines of both Red Bull and one Toro Rosso car for the French Grand Prix this weekend, the eighth round of the 2019 Formula One World Championship, in its bid to catch up to Mercedes and Ferrari.

Both Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly will benefit from the upgrade while only the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat will get the new engine, though this will force the young Russian driver to receive a grid penalty for exceeding the allowed use of engine parts in a single season.

Kvyat’s teammate Alexander Albon will get the upgrade at a later race to avoid both Toro Rosso drivers incurring penalties at the same time and possibly compromising a good result for the team. It will also provide a valuable benchmark with which to compare the new engine.

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Verstappen and Gasly will meanwhile be at the three-engine limit, meaning they’ll very probably incur penalties later in the season as well, which Red Bull Racing and Honda seem willing to take if it means making more progress. The team is already not likely to win the 2019 championship, so investing more resources now into better performance for next year may be the wiser strategy.

The spec 3 engine is more powerful than the spec 2 engine, which itself had been introduced early in the season and had come with much talked-about benefits. Honda says it was developed with Honda Jet, its airplane jet engine department, which was able to apply its knowledge and technology to improve the turbocharger.

“We will continue our development throughout the rest of the season, calling on the resources of the whole company,” said Honda F1 Technical Director Toyoharu Tanabe.

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