Honda’s F1 managing director Masashi Yamamoto says that their ability to hit targets throughout 2019 has built vital “trust” between themselves and Red Bull.
2019 was the first season of this engine partnership between Red Bull and Honda, though already it has paid off with the Austrian team full of praise for the consistent improvements Honda made throughout the campaign.
The Japanese manufacturer brought three specific engine upgrades, with their Spec 4 power unit providing the biggest boost for the closing rounds of the season, and Yamamoto believes this constant progression has built vital “trust” between the duo.
“We have regular meetings with Red Bull, Christian [Horner] and Helmut [Marko], myself and [Sakura R&D chief Yasuaki] Asaki-san. There we share our plans and the current situation as well, they share their plan and current position,” he told Motorsport.com.
“The fact it is almost on the schedule as planned is very important because we have mutual trust in each other, which makes the relationship stronger. We are really looking forward to next year.”
Marko had targeted five race wins in 2019, but while three was the number they managed courtesy of Max Verstappen, Honda are still comfortable with how the season went.
For the first time Honda suffered no race-day failures in 2019, that being with both Red Bull and Toro Rosso, while their PU development was on a constant upward trend.
“I know Christian and Helmut, we communicate very well, and I have visited the factory at Red Bull. So I trust them,” said Yamamoto.
“I thought that maybe we could win in Monaco, which we couldn’t in the end. However, that didn’t give us nerves or anything. We were quite relaxed about the situation. We thought it was going to go well.
“This year we have a big result in terms of power unit development.
“As you can see from the race result, reliability is one thing, but the other thing is power. We are quite close to Mercedes, but we are behind.
“This whole year was really good for us. And we are satisfied about that.”