Horner happy with Honda: So far touch wood

Date published: March 2 2020

Max Verstappen says the banking adds a "new dimension" to Zandvoort.

Christian Horner says Honda’s reliablity was “very encouraging” as the Japanese engine supplier required just one precautionary engine change between its two teams.

Red Bull and AlphaTauri both had a solid pre-season at the Circuit de Catalunya.

While Red Bull covered 780 laps of the Spanish track, AlphaTauri added 769.

It was by no means the 903 laps covered by the Mercedes works team, but it was a definite step forward on previous pre-seasons.

Red Bull required just one engine change over the course of the six days, which was billed as a “precautionary” change after an anomoly was spotted, while AlphaTauri had one loose pipe.

Red Bull team boss Horner says so far so good.

“I have to say from a reliability point of view, Honda has looked pretty strong at this test,” said Horner, “and of course these six days are all about understanding the package in all conditions.

“So far touch wood.

“Reliability has looked very encouraging.”

As for the junior team, AlphaTauri, team boss Franz Tost says his team ran the same engine from start to finish.

“We still have the same engine in the car so I would say it would be one of the first big steps we would have made,” Tost told Pitpass.

“In the past, we always changed the power unit during the test, this is no longer the case.”

Honda covered a total of 1549 laps in testing to Mercedes’ 2422. Honda, though, has one team less than Mercedes who suffered four different engine issues over the course of the six days.

Ferrari’s engine, which did 2228 laps, had one issue that caused Sebastian Vettel to stop out on track in the final test.

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