Honda: 'Don't know if Hamilton will put in new engine'

27-09-2021 13:28 | Updated: 27-09-2021 15:15
Honda: 'Don't know if Hamilton will put in new engine'

Toyoharu Tanabe saw that the Russian Grand Prix actually went perfectly for Max Verstappen. The first stint of the Dutchman was very good and by switching to intermediates in time, the end result was an excellent second place. Grid penalties for the engine should no longer be necessary in 2021, giving Red Bull Racing an advantage over Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton.

"The middle group is also very fast this season. Even though Sochi has long straights, overtaking is never easy. I was thinking before the race: 'How far can Verstappen go from the back of the grid? I think we overcame a lot of difficulties and the team and driver worked well together to get to second place. We were able to take advantage of the unexpected heavy rain. I think it was a very good race," analyzes Tanabe at AS-Web.

At Honda and Red Bull Racing, there was some concern that it might take some time for Verstappen to overtake Bottas. Fortunately, in the end, it wasn't too bad. "If Verstappen is held up at the back of the field, it's not going to be good for the rest of the race. We talked about it before the start," said the Japanese.

Problems Mercedes engine

It remains to be seen whether Mercedes will introduce a new, fourth engine to Lewis Hamilton. Bottas already received his fifth engine of the season in Sochi. The engines are not as reliable as they used to be. Bottas also got a new engine two weeks ago in Italy.

Tanabe: "We don't know exactly what 'the engine is finished' means, but if it means 'it's no longer available', then the new engine will help the drivers, but at the same time it's bad for the engine manufacturer if the drivers are penalised for it. We don't know why they're replacing it and we don't know if Hamilton is doing it for the same reason, so it's hard to say.

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