AlphaTauri principal Franz Tost believes it’s a realistic target for Honda to make it through the 2020 season without engine penalties.
While neither AlphaTauri or Red Bull suffered any race day engine failures in 2019, Honda’s commitment to increasing their engine performance throughout the year did result in several grid drops for their four drivers.
The current regulations limit drivers to three engines per season, but Honda would go on to develop a Spec 4 engine as they looked to close in on the Ferrari and Mercedes power units.
But with noticeable improvements made in performance, Tost believes it’s realistic for Honda to make it through 2020 without incurring engine penalties for his team.
“Yes. I think so,” he told Crash.net when asked about the possibility.
“We have still the same engine in the car and if we finish everything without a failure then one of the first big steps we made already.
“In the past we always changed the power unit during the test, and up to now this hasn’t been the case.”
Tost is very positive about Honda’s latest power unit and sees it as a “big step up” from the previous model, but it will take a few races to understand its true potential.
“This was a big step up, we are working together the third year with them,” he said.
“If you look how the power unit is fitted into the monocoque and if you compared to the first year there is a big, big difference.
“Everything Is optimised, from the electric boxes, to the water pumps, all this stuff, to get a better centre of gravity, weight distribution, and this of course helps, it’s a performance differentiator.
“And they made big steps forwards also from the reliability side and from the performance side.
“How much? This we will see after 2-3 races as we don’t know how much the other teams made. We need the comparison and for this you need 2-3 races.”