Red Bull happy to sacrifice races for Honda progress post-summer break

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Red Bull is likely to sacrifice a few races to help Honda further develop their engine before the end of 2019.

The Japanese manufacturer had made it clear the intention was never to stay within the regulation of three power units for the season and in fact introduced their third engine earlier this year in France.

Another update is expected sometime after the summer break with Red Bull boss Christian Horner indicating a fifth unit may well be on the cards.

"We are not in the Constructors’ Championship [fight], we are a significant way off in the Drivers’ Championship, so if there is a way to introduce new engines in the second half of the year that bring more performance and therefore more learning, then absolutely," he told

Also Read:

It is understood that all three engines used so far are still available in the pool of components, such has been Honda's improvement in reliability.

But as their F1 technical chief Toyoharu Tanabe explained, the emphasis is solely on improvement.

"We keep working and then it’s the same situation as other teams," he said.

“They improve, they analyze and then they improve for the rest of the season. We will be trying to do the same, so it’s the same situation as usual.

“As you know, we already applied our third unit, that means our next step will need us to take a penalty," he added.

“So we are always discussing the timing with the teams. We are finding [gains] step-by-step.

“Whether a step is big or small is difficult to tell, but we always want to make a step and that’s what we’re planning.”

While there is no doubt that Honda has made big progress, 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve warns a different approach is perhaps disguising the real gap that remains.

"They have an engine that only lasts three or four races, which is why they have the power, they are not trying to make seven races," he told Motorsport-Magazin.

"Mercedes and Ferrari could do that, and then they would have 30 horsepower more."