Wolff: Honda will emerge as strong F1 force

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Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has no doubts that Honda will make a success of its Formula 1 return, despite the Japanese manufacturer's disappointing time last year.

Honda endured a troubled return to F1 in 2015 as it struggled with reliability and a lack of power from its new turbo V6 hybrid engine.

But having made gains over the campaign, and a significant revamp of key elements of its power unit over the winter, Wolff thinks that Honda is on course to deliver.

"Honda is a huge organisation with lots of resource, and they were the power unit with the most impressive development curve through 2015," Wolff said in an interview with his Mercedes team's YouTube channel.

"Even if it was a very difficult year for them, it was still very good what they achieved in terms of how they progressed through the season. I have no doubt they will be a strong competitor in the future."

Wolff's comments come after Mercedes engine chief Andy Cowell said last week that he too reckoned Honda would be much better than it showed in 2015.

"They have come in quickly and they are learning in front of the public but they're hugely determined and partnered with McLaren who are hugely determined," he explained.

"We know exactly how McLaren work in terms of a data-driven approach, so they are going to make some big, big gains."

However, Cowell did also suggest that improvement to thermal efficiency of F1's engines meant a 'size zero' concept that Honda has adopted may not be the best way forward.

Manor step

As well as predicting good things for Honda in the future, Wolff has predicted promising results for the Mercedes-powered Manor team in 2016.

"Manor will make a big step up and not only because of the engine," said Wolff, who helped secure a drive at the Banbury-based team for Mercedes junior driver Pascal Wehrlein.

"There is a good bunch of people coming together: impressive individuals, with the right budget and right attitude, and Pascal in the car.

"I have confidence that the car and driver will have highlights and be a solid midfield runner."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes , McLaren , Manor Racing
Article type Breaking news
Tags honda
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