Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko continues to trumpet the virtues of Honda ahead of the first season in which all four cars in their organisation will be powered by the products of the Japanese auto giant.
Last year, Toro Rosso were the testbed for this year’s fully fledged project and we all know how that went. Suffice to say that when the season closed there were hardly reasons to celebrate as Honda still lagged to the pacesetters in the power stakes and reliability.
Since then Red Bull assure all and sundry, and often, how much progress is being made in the engine department, citing impeccable relations between the partners and good synergies. As always, time will tell.
In the latest bout of overt infatuation, Marko updated MN on the status of the Honda PU, “The figures make us really optimistic, also with regard to the increase in performance. For the first time, we can also celebrate with a party mode!”
“The Honda engine is already slightly above the Renault engine. If you combine our GPS data with the data provided by Honda, we’ll be in the Mercedes and Ferrari region.
“Of course they’re not sleeping either. But they are already at such a high level that they can no longer make such jumps.
“Even if we should be 10 or 15 kW behind, that was no different in our Renault era with the eight-cylinder engine. We can make up for that.”
Renault accused Red Bull of whinging (among other things) when their relationship was at its worst, but Marko insists they had reason to complain, “We were in the B category right from the start. We lacked up to 70bhp in qualifying.”
“Depending on the race track it became less, but on average we were always at least 40bhp behind. Our GPS data clearly shows how much we lose on the straights and how much we win in the corners.”
“When the Ferrari power was at its peak, the difference was even more extreme,” explained Marko, just adding more to the weight of expectations ahead of this new era for the energy drinks outfit.