This improvement to the Honda engine gave Verstappen his flying start on Imola

19-04-2021 14:51 | Updated: 19-04-2021 15:21
F1 News
This improvement to the Honda engine gave Verstappen his flying start on Imola

Max Verstappen's race win at the Italian Imola was partly supported by the Honda engine, which gave him his flying start. In an analysis by Toyoharu Tanabe, technical director at Honda, it appears that with an upgrade to the starting system of the Honda engine prove huge steps have been made.

Back in 2020, Honda was aware of the time that could still be gained at the start. The breakthrough achieved by the team could be fully tested in Imola, as it was mainly starts in the rain that the Red Bull struggled with. The key is twofold, and lies in a "combination of clutch control on the car and the torque requirement in the drive", Tanabe explains in conversation with

Tanabe continues, this time opposite the race“We tried several settings to learn what caused that, each element’s effect on the launch. We achieved the level for this year learning from the bad launches last year, we tested, developed, and [optimised] this year’s launch.”

Hugely valuable in Imola

Especially at Imola, Tanabe stresses, this progress is "valuable." He explains: "Imola is considered to be a power track. I am very satisfied that we won in our final year in Formula 1 on this traditional circuit."

The 2021 calendar has many other circuits where the start is crucial for the rest of the race, as overtaking is difficult there. These circuits include Monaco and Singapore. With the competitive strength of the current Red Bull, this development of the Honda engine is another boost for Verstappen in his fight for the title.

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