Honda still have a ‘clear gap’ to Mercedes

Honda: Performance gap to Mercedes

Honda: Performance gap to Mercedes

Honda are well aware that a “clear performance gap” still exists to Mercedes heading into the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.

Neutrals are hoping the Japanese manufacturer can help propel Red Bull firmly into the title race and began life together in Australia by beating Ferrari to the final podium spot on offer.

Honda are encouraged by the positive start in Melbourne, but concede that they are not in the same league yet as Mercedes.

“It was good to finish third in the season opener in Australia, our first podium finish since 2008,” technical director Toyoharu Tanabe said.

“However, we saw a clear performance gap to the winning team both in qualifying and the race.

“Therefore as soon as we returned to our facilities in the UK and Japan, we began a detailed analysis of all the data we gathered from our four cars in Melbourne and continued our PU development work for this weekend and further races.”

Tanabe and the rest of the Honda outfit are now looking forward to seeing the data produced at a more high-speed, traditional circuit to get a better sense of the work ahead for them.

He added: “We now head to Bahrain and the Sakhir circuit, which is more representative of a normal permanent circuit, after the unusual Albert Park track which is more of a stop-go street circuit.

“The Sakhir track also has quite a long straight, which means that, by the end of the weekend, we should have a better idea of the ability and potential of both our car-PU packages.

“Obviously, Bahrain holds good memories for us, as it was here last year that Gasly and Toro Rosso got their best result of the year, finishing fourth.

“We will be working hard to continue the positive trend we saw in Australia, in the hope of creating more good memories here.”

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