Honda has had a 'strong winter' says Horner

Thursday, 07 february 2019, 08:43 , by Craig Norman

Red Bull have continued bullish predictions ahead of the 2019 season, with boss Christian Horner declaring that new works engine partner Honda has had a "strong winter". Despite the failed McLaren-Honda pairing of 2015-2017, the Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso hailed the Japanese carmaker after working with Honda in 2018.

Now, the senior team is jumping aboard and top official Dr Helmut Marko thinks Red Bull-Honda is on track for a world championship tilt.

Team boss Horner is quoted by Speed Week: "Honda is having a strong winter.

"Red Bull Technology has been working with Honda for 12 months, so we've had a good look at their evolution and they're on a good way.

"They are committed to their concept and for the first time since returning to F1 they have not had to start again for the new season.

"Of course it depends on the strength of the competition, but on their own data, Honda has made some nice progress."

If there is a big question mark, Horner admits it is reliability, with Honda so far struggling to master F1's 'long life' engine rules.

"It's a daunting task to tackle 21 race weekends with only three engines," Horner admits.

"We would prefer constant development, even if it means we would have to put up with one or two penalties," he said.  "We've seen in the past year that depending on the circuit, those penalties can have minimal consequences."

Horner rejected the idea that, sooner or later, Red Bull will fall out with Honda just as it did so obviously with its former supplier Renault.

"That's a different story.  We were a customer," he said.

"In fact, we were a customer who had booked a first class flight and then had to fly economy.  It meant for a lot of frustration.

"With Honda, we can speak of a true technical partnership, with truly shared responsibility."

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Comments (12)

  • Jonathan Carre
    You don't know how strong a winter the other teams have had yet. Honda were pleased with their progress in the off season after their first season with McLaren. They promised big things and were made to look silly.
  • Karl Davy
    but a strong winter does not mean its gona ber able to bridge the gap between mercedes and ferrari does it we talking about a huge inprovement needed not a "strong" one
  • Mark Hornsby
    The problem is the "says Horner" bit of that. No-one with a shred of commonsense takes anything that man says at face value.
  • Bob Caldwell
    The Red Bull press machine has been going full tilt this off season. The more I hear, the more I roll my eyes.
  • Tony Webb
    Strong? As in pungent? Nice It truly is Coulthard's year
  • James Heeley
    Strong winter for Honda is doing a race distance with blowing up
  • Graham Wilson
    I’m not buying it......... OR anything Honda related
  • Trance Po
    I wonder if he would say differently when the car is behind the duo~
  • Rudy Cloon
    talk on the track. keep quiet fools
  • Peter Dryden
    They haven't even started testing yet.
  • Rene Kamsteeg
    That's coz max isnt driving

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