Doornbos: 'Has Honda scaled back the engine a little? It looked like it'

03-05-2021 17:19 | Updated: 03-05-2021 21:04
F1 News
Doornbos: 'Has Honda scaled back the engine a little? It looked like it'

Max Verstappen complained several times during the Portuguese Grand Prix about the speed of his car in the straights compared to the competition. Where Mercedes easily reached a top speed of over 320 km/h, the car of Verstappen got stuck at 314 km/h. Robert Doornbos explains in his column how things work.

The Dutchman had to give way to Hamilton during the GP in Portimao, who finished more than 29 seconds ahead of Verstappen. Top speed played an important role in this. "Turn 15 is 'easy flat', we know that," Doornbos begins in his column. "But we also know that those cars pull four to five G in that corner because you create the friction with steering. If you then have a slightly more powerful engine, it will pull you through and then keep your revs up. Then when you have to go up the little hill at start/finish, you're high on revs and you get more top speed for Turn 1."

That was the difference for Red Bull, however, which lost time with the Honda engine. "In the case of Honda this weekend, the revs dropped too much, so the engine just didn't have enough time to pull it through. Therefore, it took longer to get up to revs and speed. Did Honda reduce the engine slightly? I don't dare say, but it looked like it."

Race in Portimao

Mercedes proved to be the strongest in the race at Portimao with a first and third-place finish. Red Bull didn't go wrong either with a second-place for Verstappen and P4 for Sergio Pérez.

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