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Albon: Ferrari ahead but we’re on a par with Mercedes

Red Bull driver Alex Albon believes that Honda is now on a par with Mercedes in the power stakes after a stellar Brazilian Grand Prix weekend for the Japanese Formula 1 engine supplier.

Just four years after Honda’s abysmal 2015 return to the top flight with McLaren, the Honda have finally caught up with the other engine manufacturers.

However, some think it was the high altitude of Interlagos that helped Honda-powered Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly to finish first and second recently.

Albon told reporters ahead of the Abu Dabi Grand Prix weekend, “I doubt the altitude played an important role. In my opinion, Ferrari still has an advantage but we are on a par with Mercedes, even if we don’t know what their wing settings are exactly.

“My point is that it’s not just about altitude and the characteristics of the track – Honda is making serious progress,” the Thai rookie added.

Even Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas does not deny that, “Our chassis is very good. There is little or nothing to complain about in terms of the mechanical side or the aerodynamics.

“But we do lack top speed on the straights, which is about efficiency and engine power. We have to get better,” added the Finn.

Verstappen said on Thursday that it looks as though Red Bull-Honda is ready to challenge for the 2020 title.

Similarly, Honda-powered Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat said, “We all feel good about it,” agreed. We are getting closer to Ferrari and Mercedes. We only need one last step and then we can really compete with them on equal terms.”