Honda results ‘reasonable’ not ‘fantastic’



Honda’s Formula 1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe believes the manufacturer’s results so far this season have been “reasonable”.

However, Tanabe still sees a big gap to Mercedes and Ferrari, meaning their performances have not been “fantastic”.

Red Bull are using Honda power for the first time this season and Max Verstappen claimed their supplier’s first podium since their return to the sport in 2015 with P3 in Melbourne.

He would have made the podium in Bahrain after Charles Leclerc’s engine issues, but a late safety car restricted the Dutchman to P4.

Speaking during the FIA press conference, Tanabe said: “So far we have started this season with reasonable performance and reasonable results.

“But reasonable doesn’t mean fantastic, and we see clearly there is still a big gap to the top [teams] and us.

“We really need to push to improve our performance, to compete [against] our competitors. We understand it is not easy to improve the performance immediately, but we’ll keep pushing.”

Tanabe wouldn’t be pushed into revealing the extent of the deficit, but said: “I won’t tell you a specific number, but you can see the gap on the track.”

Honda are supplying two teams for the first time in the turbo-hybrid era, stepping up to Red Bull after powering their junior team Toro Rosso last season.

Tanabe discussed the importance of working with two teams, as it gives the manufacturer “double the data” to work with.

“We can get double the data from two teams compared to one, and then there are some differences in the team’s philosophy, and way of working,” Tanabe stated.

“Not only twice, but more than twice we can receive information, and we have four different drivers with different characteristics of driving. It’s very hard to tell, but two teams is definitely helping our development.”

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