Honda ‘cannot believe’ streak of Mercedes F1 engine penalties

Honda’s Formula 1 technical chief Toyoharu Tanabe says he ‘cannot believe’ the run of engine penalties that rival Mercedes is facing in the closing stages of the season.

Honda ‘cannot believe’ streak of Mercedes F1 engine penalties

The Honda-powered Red Bull team are currently locked in a tight fight with Mercedes for the F1 titles, but recent races have been impacted by grid penalties for its German car manufacturer rival.

In Brazil, Lewis Hamilton will take a five-place grid drop for taking his fifth Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) of the season, having already taken an extra one in Turkey.

His teammate Valtteri Bottas has burned through even more power units, taking new engines in Monza, Russia and the United States.

It means that this weekend’s race in Brazil will be the fifth grand prix out of the last six that one of the Mercedes drivers has faced a grid drop.

Asked in Brazil if he was surprised that Mercedes have had such a run of changes, Tanabe said: “Yes, I'm pretty surprised. Changing the ICE week after week.

“So after, I cannot believe what's going on and why. But from the PU manufacturer point of view, it is disappointing to get a PU penalty for the driver.”

While Mercedes has endured a number of changes, Honda has only needed one extra power unit for its Red Bull drivers after they lost engines due to crash damage earlier in the season.

Max Verstappen’s British Grand Prix unit was damaged beyond repair with his crash at Silverstone, while Sergio Perez lost a power unit after a first corner pile-up in Hungary.

Tanabe said he was confident that Honda could get through the rest of the campaign without a further change, with Verstappen having added his fourth power unit at the Russian GP.

“The current plan is we can manage the PUs the rest of the season for all drivers,” he said. “We had some accidents during the season and then lose some PUs, but at the moment, we have a sufficient number of units for all drivers.”

Asked if he reckoned Honda could have completed the full season on just three power units without the unexpected crash damage, Tanabe said: “I believe yes.”

shares
comments
Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying as it happened
Previous article

Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying as it happened

Next article

Brazilian GP: Hamilton tops Friday qualifying by 0.4s from Verstappen

Brazilian GP: Hamilton tops Friday qualifying by 0.4s from Verstappen
Load comments
The lessons F1 can take from the Masi "souk" deal criticisms Prime

The lessons F1 can take from the Masi "souk" deal criticisms

As Formula 1 heads to its Abu Dhabi season finale, the FIA and race director Michael Masi are under increased scrutiny, with radio messages broadcast during last weekend's race prompting discussion and controversy. But what can they learn from the Saudi Arabia debacle?

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Prime

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer Prime

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer

OPINION: Saudi Arabia's new F1 circuit delivered a memorable first event, although not necessarily for all the right reasons. In the wake of the chaotic race, drivers voiced their concerns about the track but small changes could make significant improvements ahead of a return in four months.

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain Prime

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain

From ranking as one of the most impressive new teams to join the Formula 1 grid, Haas’s stock has plummeted along with its on-track performances over the past two seasons. Everything now hangs on whether its reforged alliance with Ferrari can deliver a better car – and whether its rookie drivers can set aside their quarrels. Oleg Karpov asks if any of these goals are achievable…

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2021
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021