Honda’s F1 engine section has been the subject of a lot of attention in recent weeks. Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri were two of the many success stories. Everything changed after the British Grand Prix.
Red Bull Racing and engine partner Honda had three wins in succession and won the first Sprint race in Formula 1 history. The title rival Lewis Hamilton’s first-lap encounter changed everything in a single sweep. Teammate Sergio Perez, who was also in the sprint race with Lewis Hamilton, failed to break any pots. AlphaTauri’s day was not easy. Toyoharu Tanabe, Honda F1 technical director, concluded that it was a difficult day for both the teams.
“This result in the British Grand Prix is hard to swallow,” Tanabe admits. “Max got off to a good start as usual but Lewis hit him in Copse. Max ended up hitting the tires heavily as a result. Although it was disappointing, the most important thing to remember is that Max did not crash into the tires. This is a difficult area to pass and traffic can be an issue. At one point he was in tenth place but unfortunately he finished outside the points.”
It didn’t go much better for the sister team, concludes the Japanese: “AlphaTauri had a hard time all weekend. Pierre had to make an additional pit stop because of a flat tire. Yuki managed his race well and took a valuable point for the team by finishing tenth.”
The conclusion is simple: quickly forget and focus on the next race: “This result is not what we wanted but this can happen in a title fight. But this is only one race of the 23 and there have been only 10 others. This is less than half a season. We are looking forward and will try our best. We are doing everything we can to avoid being told in the future that the British GP was the turning point.”