A real setback for the Milton Keynes team, which since Friday had understood that it could aim for the big target with the Dutchman and thus start the new season in the best possible way, the last with the technical rules in force today.
Back in Milton Keynes, the British team and Honda began analyzing the data to understand what went wrong on Sunday. Red Bull-Honda had a certain advantage in qualifying in Bahrain, but in the race the gap with Mercedes was not that wide.
This led Mercedes to adopt an aggressive strategy to help Lewis Hamilton gain a track position against Verstappen. Then, after overtaking and double overtaking (the latter imposed by the team on Max), Hamilton managed to resist and bring home a fundamental success.
After analyzing the data, Honda says one aspect that will be closely examined is the possibility of being more aggressive in its power deployment in last week’s grand prix.
In fact, although the teams are forced to use the same engine mappings both in qualifying and in the race, there is still the possibility of varying a number of factors, such as the energy distribution strategy and choosing how aggressive the engine can be. throughout the entire weekend.
In the wake of what happened in Bahrain, Honda F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe said he will consider whether the approach in Bahrain has been the best possible or whether the team will have to do things differently from the next race.
“We will review everything and consider the data,” Tanabe said. “We need to see how much the engine was used at the Bahrain GP, then we will use it according to the characteristics of each track in the near future.”
“We plan to check if this usage was optimal. Basically I think it can be used without problems, but I’m going to think about what we will need to do to use it correctly in the future.”
“Max’s second place in Sakhir was a disappointing result,” Tanabe continued. “But Max was able to compete for the win in the first race of the year and I think it’s a good thing to see such a performance. I think it was a good race considering it was the first of the season.”
“We did what we could. I think the race strategy was also optimal. However, I think the lack of results means that all of this is not enough. If someone asked me if I am 100% satisfied, I would say no.”
Despite this, Tanabe has no doubts that the competitive picture of Red Bull and Mercedes is different this year compared to what we saw in 2020: “Last year we managed to win only when everything went well. In terms of the difference with the Mercedes, I think Red Bull is in a better position this year. “
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