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Honda bringing Red Bull 'in the region' of Mercedes & Ferrari

Written by  Jan 08, 2019

Honda's performance figures combined with Red Bull's chassis is bringing the team "in the region" of Mercedes & Ferrari, according to Helmut Marko.

The Anglo-Austrian outfit is hoping a decision to team up with the Japanese manufacturer from 2019 can make the difference after five tough seasons with Renault in the hybrid era.

Just before Christmas, Max Verstappen got to test the 2019 car in the simulator, combining the chassis and engine package for the first time, and initial signs are looking strong.

"The figures make us really optimistic, also with regard to the increase in performance," Marko told Motorsport.com.

"The Honda engine is already slightly above the Renault engine and if you combine our GPS data with the data provided by Honda, we'll be in the Mercedes and Ferrari region."

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Interestingly, however, that comparison is against last year's cars and Marko was reminded that both their rivals will make gains too for this year.

"Of course they're not sleeping either but they are already at such a high level that they can no longer make such jumps," he predicted.

"Even if we should be 10 or 15 kW behind, that was no different in our Renault era with the eight-cylinder engine. We can make up for that."

Red Bull can also look forward to a much-need boost in qualifying with Honda after Saturday's proved the team's main weakness last year.

"For the first time, we can also celebrate with a 'party mode'!" Marko declared.

 

This comes despite a report in Germany suggested Honda was having issues with their engine in development having split with consultants AVL and suffering vibrations with the Internal Combustion Engine on the dyno.

The Red Bull advisor confirmed the report but reassured: “Appropriate measures were taken to solve the problem.”

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