Honda facing "very complicated" Red Bull penalty call

The decision on when Honda’s next upgraded Formula 1 engine will be introduced, which will trigger grid penalties for Red Bull, is “very complicated”, according to the manufacturer's technical chief.

Honda facing "very complicated" Red Bull penalty call
Listen to this article

Honda has already brought two engine upgrades during the 2019 season, which its aggressive development programme presenting the opportunity to introduce a third update the next time it gives Red Bull and Toro Rosso fresh engines.

The Japanese manufacturer’s Spec 3 engine made its debut in the French Grand Prix and has completed five races.

With power-sensitive races coming up at the Belgian and Italian GPs, followed by one of Red Bull’s strongest races in Singapore, either of the two races immediately after the summer break represents a logical time to introduce a new engine.

Read Also:

These are traditionally favoured venues for changes that trigger grid drops as it is easier to recover ground at Spa or Monza without compromising a strong race in Singapore.

However, Honda’s F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe said a decision had not been made prior to F1’s summer break.

“We are discussing all the time with the teams and we will decide when we apply a new engine or updated spec,” he told Motorsport.com.

“At the moment no decision has been made yet. It depends on the situation and timing and the result of the discussions with the teams. It’s very complicated.”

Singapore will almost certainly be prioritised given it represents a significant opportunity for Red Bull to take another win this season, but Honda’s home race in Japan is only the fifth race after the summer break.

That is firmly in Honda’s sights as the best opportunity for a strong result at Suzuka since it returned to F1 in 2015.

If Red Bull’s leading driver Max Verstappen takes a grid penalty at Spa or Monza and does not take another fresh engine before Suzuka, he will have to contest Honda’s home grand prix with a unit that is several races old.

Honda believes its engines are now reliable enough to complete six full weekends without problem or significant degradation in performance.

However, it may not be willing to chance that at Suzuka, and a potential solution to that could be an engine change at the preceding race in Russia.

By sacrificing that grand prix, Honda could have a fresh engine ready for Suzuka, and likely have enough engines in the pool to complete the season without further changes or penalties.

Tanabe added: “We have two types of plan, long-term and short-term.

“After the race we review the situation, the condition of the PU, maybe two or three races is the short-term. And the long-term means until the end of the season.”

“It is very complicated.”

shares
comments
Kvyat podium a "reward" for Toro Rosso helping Honda
Previous article

Kvyat podium a "reward" for Toro Rosso helping Honda

Next article

Norris felt added pressure due to "insane" McLaren scale

Norris felt added pressure due to "insane" McLaren scale
Load comments
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022
The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Prime

The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

Formula 1
May 19, 2022
How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Prime

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history Prime

Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history

OPINION: For a demo run ahead of Monaco's Historique Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was blessed with the opportunity to drive Niki Lauda's former Ferrari 312B3 - but a brake failure at Rascasse suggested Leclerc's Monaco hoodoo transcended contemporary F1. Although an awkward incident, Leclerc deserves credit for embracing F1's history.

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage Prime

Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

Formula 1
May 17, 2022