Honda aiming to start 2019 as the third best manufacturer

  • 18 Jan 2019 14:16
  • comments 6
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Honda says that it wants to start the 2019 Formula 1 season with the third best power unit in the field. Since rejoining the grid in 2015, it has struggled against its rivals in terms of both speed and reliability.

However, it made gains in 2018 working with Toro Rosso ahead of the switch to Red Bull in 2019. And as it prepares for the season with the energy drink squad, Honda wants to begin the campaign ahead of Renault, who Red Bull ditched at the end of last year.

"We will make a big effort during the winter, and [up until] now of course,” Honda motorsport boss Masashi Yamamoto told Autosport. “At least we would like to start from third within the manufacturers, then try to catch the frontrunners up during the season.”

Speaking about closing in on Mercedes and Ferrari, who hold an advantage over the rest of the competitors, Yamamoto knows there is a lot of work to do - but insists the Japanese manufacturer is heading in the right direction.

"We are not really keen to say a specific time, but Mercedes and Ferrari have loads of knowledge of the grey areas [of the rules], so they are still ahead of us,” he stated.

“But after four years of our development and trying, we think we are now finding the right direction and where to go – much clearer than last year, or two years ago. So we think we can speed up our development.”

Replies (6)

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  • Kean

    Posts: 454

    I’ll believe it when I see it. I for one am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that Renault have made significant gains with the PU and chassis, and that McLaren have found a loophole in the regs propelling them up on par with Renault to fight for 3rd ahead of RBR

    • + 0
    • Jan 18 2019 - 18:06
  • It aint impossible, I think Red Bull/STR is the best possible ground for Honda to develop, and in conjunction with Illien and IHI, things might take off... *orchid mantis grabs and tear apart juvenile* or maybe not...

    • + 0
    • Jan 18 2019 - 18:30
    • mcbhargav

      Posts: 856

      Redbull is a ticking time bomb, if Honda dont deliver or regress, its gonna tarnish their dreams, and branding. But, yes. If they cant do it with the current help, they should give it up.

      • + 0
      • Jan 19 2019 - 18:42
  • boudy

    Posts: 1,045

    I am hoping that both Honda and Renault have made significant steps and both get close to Mercedes, However my guess is that Honda will have made the most gains.

    McLaren doesn't need to find an loophole they need to improve their chassis. I bet that they are going to copy either Ferrari or Mercedes with their design.

    Toro Rosso will be making vast improvements also an better PU married with an redbull backend sounds like a great car to drive if you enter F1.

    • + 1
    • Jan 18 2019 - 22:57
  • Hombibi

    Posts: 137

    if Honda really made these statements than i think Honda is gaining confidence. That can only mean one thing..

    • + 1
    • Jan 19 2019 - 07:52
    • Madmaz

      Posts: 13

      I agree. Up until now they have typically been quiet and when they did say something there was always a sense of inexperience and over promising. Their recent statements do indeed feel like there’s more confidence and experience. It will be nice if they finally break out this year. I sense it’s coming.

      • + 0
      • Jan 19 2019 - 19:38

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