Tanabe Pleased with Honda’s Reaction to Challenge of Supplying Two Teams in 2019

by Paul Hensby

Toyoharu Tanabe, Honda’s F1 Technical Director, was pleased with how the Japanese engine manufacturer rose to challenge of supplying two teams in 2019, with its previous deal with Scuderia Toro Rosso having been joined by its new partnership with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.

2008 was the last time Honda supplied engines to two teams, when they supplied the works Honda team as well as the Super Aguri F1 Team, but 2019 was the first time they did it in the turbo hybrid era.

Tanabe was pleased with how Honda reacted to having two teams but there are ongoing communications on how to improve still further and iron out the creases that appeared at times during 2019.

“It was challenging, of course,” said Tanabe to Motorsport.com. “More staff here, more engines here. So far everything went reasonably well for both teams.

“I asked the engineers and the mechanics here, ‘What can we do for next year? Please review what we did this year. What was a concern, what was a problem, in terms of the trackside management?’.

“Then we can make a list, discuss it internally, discuss with the R&D department, and then bring the idea for next year.”

Having two teams benefited Honda in many areas, especially when it came to track time, but the fact that Toro Rosso and Red Bull are sister outfits meant they were able to have a much tighter relationship with them than if they were not as close.

“There’s some difference between two teams,” admitted Tanabe. “There are some items which we learn from both. The more information helps us to improve our performance.

“We support the two teams equally – engine specification, the number of engineers and mechanics, the scale, all equal.  When we started this year, we mixed the people [from 2018] and then brought extra support to make the same [level in both teams].

“We’ll keep the same style, for next year and always.”

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