New Honda not 20hp better - Marko
"20 horse power more is not correct"
Dr Helmut Marko has played down reports that Honda’s new engine is 20 horse power better than its predecessor.
We had quoted the Red Bull official as mentioning the 20hp figure in anticipation of Honda’s ’Spec 2’ power unit debut this weekend in Baku.
"20 horse power more is not correct," Marko told Auto Bild.
"It is less than that, but we can load the engine longer without getting reliability problems," he added.
An engine upgrade after just three races indicates that Red Bull will take penalties later in 2019, as drivers are limited to using just 3 power units for the full 21-race calendar.
"The next step is planned for mid year," confirmed Marko.
Max Verstappen, though, doesn’t mind if he gets engine penalties.
"If we use a few more engines but we close the gap to Mercedes and Ferrari, I’m absolutely happy with it," said the Dutchman.
"I showed last year that you can still be on the podium if you start behind, so it’s not a big problem.
"I wanted this engine to come early as it should bring us two tenths," Verstappen added.
However, Toro Rosso driver Alexander Albon confirmed Marko’s comments about the new Honda engine.
"As I understand it, the main focus of the new specification is reliability," he said. "There should not be that much more power.
"But on a circuit with long straights, every horse power is welcome," he added.