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'Mercedes suspects less horsepower at Honda due to new FIA directive'

'Mercedes suspects less horsepower at Honda due to new FIA directive'

03-08-2021 11:45 Last update: 03-08-2021 11:45

Red Bull Racing was clearly the fastest on the straights in France and Austria, but the roles were suddenly reversed on the Silverstone and Hungaroring circuits. There are several theories circulating in the paddock, as reported by Auto Motor und Sport Tuesday. In any case, Red Bull and Mercedes are pointing at each other.

The development of the power units is pretty much frozen in 2021, so how can it be that Mercedes suddenly manages to make up so much ground? Red Bull maintains that they are still driving with the same amount of power as they did at Paul Ricard and the Red Bull Ring. The Austrian team claims Mercedes has power, but Toto Wolff's team thinks Honda has had to take a step back.

Restrictions for Honda?

There are rumours from the Mercedes camp that Honda have been held back by a new directive from the FIA. "There has reportedly been a disagreement for four months about how the Japanese conduct their energy management," writes AMS, which inquired with the FIA. "They were not aware of the measures against Honda."

That shouldn't mean a whole lot, however, as new guidelines regarding the engine are not made public. "The federation's technicians discuss them directly with the respective manufacturer. Even the competition doesn't find out about them."

Red Bull thinks of trick Mercedes

However, Red Bull suspects that Mercedes did manage to find more power thanks to a trick. The Milton Keynes-based team, like Ferrari, thinks that Mercedes is cooling the air collector (plenum) at certain stages to make more power available. This could be used during a qualifying session or at the start of the race. For example, the plenum could be cooled with dry ice.

According to Auto, Motor und Sport, systematic plenum cooling is at least a grey area. Possibly it is even not allowed at all. "Especially if you support the cooler air in the collector in the short term by adding more fuel," they say from the Red Bull camp.

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