OWNER DI­ET­RICH MATESCHITZ IS AN IM­PA­TIENT MAN. HE IS AL­READY NOT ENAMOURED OF THE CUR­RENT EN­GINES.

F1 Racing (UK) - - YOU ASK THE QUESTIONS -

Could this threaten Red Bull’s fu­ture in the sport? Of course, Honda might im­prove. Operations of­fi­cer Kat­suhide Moriyama claimed that their tar­get with Toro Rosso was “to fight for the top three at the front of the grid”. This caused wide­spread mirth. One se­nior fig­ure said: “Toro Rosso wouldn’t be in the top three with a Mercedes.” Moriyama’s re­mark is seen as re­flec­tive of Honda’s fail­ure to un­der­stand the size of the task fac­ing them.

The com­plex­ity of the hy­brid en­gines isn’t help­ing. It’s no ac­ci­dent that Honda’s up­dates to the in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine is of­ten fol­lowed by the fail­ure of a part of the hy­brid sys­tem, as hap­pened to Stof­fel Van­doorne at Spa.

Honda are a big com­pany, staffed by clever en­gi­neers, but re­cov­ery will take time. In­sid­ers say that, re­al­is­ti­cally, 2019 is the first hope for any­thing close to com­pet­i­tive­ness. And even then there are no guar­an­tees.

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