Toyoharu Tanabe admits Honda are still lacking power compared to their rivals in 2018 despite a top ten finish in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix last Sunday.
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda endured a tough weekend at the Baku Street Circuit, with Tanabe, Honda F1’s Technical Director, saying they seemed to lack top speed on race day in comparison to earlier in the weekend, something they will need to find the reasons for.
However, Tanabe feels the power deficit is more of a problem, and they will need to continue their development programme to ensure they improve their pace, although without compromising their reliability.
“The whole package lacked top speed today, more so than on the first two days and we must now look at the cause for that,” said Tanabe. “However, it is clear that part of the reason for this is that we are still slightly down on power compared to our rivals.
“We knew this and are working hard on development to improve, while not compromising the reliability of the PU components.”
Tanabe admitted it took the mistakes of others for Brendon Hartley to secure his first point in Formula 1, although team-mate Pierre Gasly had misfortune during the race after running inside the top ten at either end of the race before contact with Kevin Magnussen ended his chance of a second points finish of 2018.
“After a difficult first two days, both drivers did well to stay out of trouble in the early chaos and managed to move up the order, with Pierre running inside the top ten in the early part and again towards the end until the coming together with Magnussen,” said Tanabe.
“In the end, we benefited from the mistakes of others for Brendon to take his first F1 point.“