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Red Bull F1 title hopes boosted by "compact" Honda PU

Red Bull F1 title hopes boosted by "compact" Honda PU

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Red Bull F1 title hopes boosted by "compact" Honda PU

Red Bull F1 title hopes boosted by "compact" Honda PU
Sam Hall & Ian Parkes

Honda Formula 1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe believes the manufacturer's "compact" engine has aided Red Bull with more than just power.

When re-joining F1 as a power unit supplier with McLaren in 2015, Honda worked with what was then known as a 'size-zero' philosophy, with the design promoting improved aerodynamic styling at the rear of the car.

The manufacturer, however, struggled to get to grips with such a principle which resulted in wretched reliability problems and McLaren ultimately opting to end the partnership after just three years and team up with Renault.

Since partnering with Red Bull and sister team AlphaTauri, reliability has improved, and in tandem with an increase in horsepower, Honda has revisited its earlier concept.

Tanabe explained: “We reviewed every single part and the concept of our previous PU and then we designed this year’s PU as a new PU.

"At the same time, our desire to improve our performance in the PU means the ICE [internal combustion engine] and ERS [energy recovery system], with this new design, means we made it more compact compared to the previous PU.

“I think it has contributed to the car package performance as well.”

Honda exits F1 at the end of the current season but will continue to develop its power unit before handing over the technology for 2022 to Red Bull Powertrains Ltd, the new company formed by the team that will then have its destiny in its hands.

Asked if the Japanese manufacturer's latest offering is its smallest yet, Tanabe answered: "Generally, I can tell smaller, and that means more compact.”

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