Honda knows: Mercedes won't "sit by and watch"

15-06-2021 13:41 | Updated: 15-06-2021 17:07
F1 News
Honda knows: Mercedes won't sit by and watch

Red Bull and Mercedes are engaged in a thrilling battle for both world championships for the first time in a long time this season. Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are battling for the drivers' championship, while Red Bull and Mercedes are fighting for first place in the constructors' championship.

Toyoharu Tanabe, F1 technical director of Honda, says in conversation with that he was satisfied with the team performance in Baku. "Apart from Verstappen's accident, I think the race was good for Honda. It was the first race for us at the head of the drivers' and constructors' championship, but we can also handle the next race in this position. There are still areas to analyse, but I think the result was good."

He also knows that on paper the Red Bull seems to be the fastest. He is certainly pleased with the progress this year. "We will analyse the data, but our four cars made Q3 in Baku and two made the podium. In that sense, I believe the cars and power units of our two teams have evolved more than ever. That's not the case with Mercedes."

Two Red Bull drivers up front hugely important

According to the Japanese, it is extremely important that Sergio Perez along with Max Verstappen make things difficult for the two cars of Mercedes. Especially strategically. "I think it's necessary for the two drivers to score a lot of points in order to improve the team position. Even if one person is by far the best, you can lose to another strategy team."

"I think it's important for the team to perform well with both cars and score points", Tanabe continued. "In races, before, Mercedes often split the strategies between the two cars and attacked Verstappen, who was alone. If the two cars perform similarly and have a solid strategy like in Baku, it should be harder for rivals to attack."

But: Tanabe also knows that Mercedes is far from finished this year. "Mercedes is not going to sit by and watch. Of course I expect them to come back well." Next weekend, the exciting battle for both championships will continue in the south of France.

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