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Honda 'way ahead' of Ferrari, say Mercedes

Honda 'way ahead' of Ferrari, say Mercedes

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Honda 'way ahead' of Ferrari, say Mercedes

Honda 'way ahead' of Ferrari, say Mercedes

Honda's development has suitably impressed Mercedes this year, with the Silver Arrows' engine chief Andy Cowell pegging the Japanese manufacturer's 2019 development as "way ahead" of Ferrari.

The Scuderia had the quickest car in a straight line throughout the 2019 campaign, making significant power strides in the mid-season break.

However, the team's car development was not good enough to knock Mercedes off their perch as a sixth straight title double returned to Brackley.

Red Bull kept themselves in the mix despite ditching Renault for Honda, and Cowell believes the Japanese brand could put Red Bull back into contention in 2020.

"Honda are the best improvers this year, they're way ahead of Ferrari in terms of development rate," Cowell told Motorsport Magazine.

"Red Bull can make championship-winning cars, Max Verstappen is formidable and Honda… their investment in what they're doing is huge and their determination is huge.

"And that's showing on track, and you can see that the structure and sound decision-making being done. It's going to be exciting."

Liberty Media failed in its attempts to overhaul the engine regulations for 2021, along with the vast changes that will be made to sporting and technical regs.

Cowell believes that the current machinery is the right fit for F1, but talked up a more drastic change for 2026 and beyond.

"As an engineer that likes to be creative, likes new challenges, likes to be in the mire of a new challenge, fighting his way out, then yes, I wish there was more change," he admitted.

"But I think Formula 1 is moving in the absolutely right direction, and I think the V6 and ERS power unit that we introduced in '14 is now absolutely the right power unit.

"And I think it's good that the four manufacturers just iterate more and more. Let's have a close battle with the same set of regulations, I'm up for that."

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