Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has placed a lot of praise on the Honda power unit. In fact, he is of the opinion that it has more power than Mercedes “in some places”. His praise comes on the back of a string of excellent Red Bull performances of late.
The Japanese manufacturer returned to Formula 1 in 2015 with McLaren, hoping to revive the famous Senna–Prost glorious yesteryears. Unfortunately, they wasted several years combatting lack of performance and reliability and the marriage ended with a messy divorce.
However, with Toro Ross and Red Bull, it is a completely different story as Honda made tremendous gains in 2018 and 2019. To further rub salt in McLaren’s wounds, Max Verstappen claimed victory in Austria and Germany. He would have finished as best-of-the-rest in Britain if Sebastian Vettel had not careened into him.
When asked whether Red Bull was still in title contention, Hamilton replied: “I think what people need to remember is that it’s a multi-championship winning team.”
“They’ve always had a very good car. You’ve got Adrian Newey there, who’s one of the best designers there is in the sport.”
“They had a slump with a little bit less power, then they had a period of time where they had a little bit less downforce than most people that definitely crept back up and started to utilise the car more. Both drivers are starting to put in good performances, so they’re there, and it is clearly a very good car. We’re in a period of time where it suits them.”
He continued, “And also people need to remember that sometimes a car is better in other places. The car is not always the best through the whole season.”
“Austria, the Red Bull was a better package for that circuit, it worked well in the temperatures and everything. Even compared to us with a good car and against Ferrari.”
“It might be that way this weekend, I think Singapore will be strong for them. When we get to the longer places like Monza, it could be different this year, they have a new power unit, they’re not lower than us on power.”
“I think in some places they’ve got more power than us. It will be interesting to see how they go in those other places.”
Hamilton led the way in FP1 on Friday and placed a close third in FP2, believing he is now nearly over the sickness bug that affected him last weekend in Germany.
“I was a million times better getting back in the car this morning, and even this afternoon,” he said. “Still like sweating a lot, so I’m obviously still sweating out whatever bug that I had, but that’s a good thing.”