Honda’s new 2021 powertrain, the RA621H, is very close in power to Mercedes (which has been the standard for everyone else for years) according to AlphaTauri’s F1 boss Franz Tost after an encouraging first weekend of the season for both Red Bull teams.
Honda is retiring from Formula 1 at the end of the year, and Red Bull will be able to continue using their engines under the name Red Bull Powertrains until 2025, thanks to a decision to freeze engine development. For their final F1 season, Honda has prepared a new powertrain that is stronger, smaller, and has a lower center of gravity, allowing Red Bull and AlphaTauri to have a compact rear end design for greater aerodynamic efficiency.
Honda had two cars in the top five in qualifying and three cars in the top nine in the first race in Bahrain, and Tost praised the Japanese manufacturer’s progress and believes they are currently very close to Mercedes.
“I have to say that Honda has done a fantastic job in Sakura because the new powertrain is much more powerful and driveable than before,” Tost said. “I think Honda is really, really close to Mercedes. I can only say thanks to the Japanese engineers for doing a fantastic job."
Alpha Tauri's form
Toast also commented on AlphaTauri’s form after Gasly was the closest runner-up to Mercedes and Red Bull in qualifying by ending in fifth place with 0.424 from second behind second-placed Hamilton.
"We have improved in every aspect, but let's not forget that our rivals have done the same. If you look at McLaren, they have a Mercedes power unit and they are very powerful. ” “For me, at the moment Red Bull and Mercedes are on the same level, maybe Red Bull is even faster.
Then I see McLaren. And we see what happens to Ferrari. But we are close to Ferrari and others. ” "It's a matter of hundreds of seconds. We’ve improved a lot, but so have others. The question is who did the better job.
And I will be able to say that at the end of the season. I need two, three races for a better picture. But it's very tight and I think it will be the same thing as last year. " "I expect the same in Imola. And then we'll see what happens in Portimao. "