Honda F1 boss Toyoharu Tanabe has given his thoughts on Mercedes’ reliability, saying that he cannot believe how bad it seems at the moment.
Mercedes has been plagued with reliability issues for a while. Their engines are not functioning properly, and their drivers are continuously replacing them and taking penalties. It has hampered their bid for the championships, and we may see the end of their era of dominance.
Honda knows a thing or two about engine issues. The Japanese manufacturer was the laughing stock of the F1 world back in 2015 during their troubled reunion with McLaren. It was so bad that Fernando Alonso infamously called it a “GP2 engine”.
Their redemption arc has been exceptional to watch, with their engines powering Red Bull towards the championships after eight years. Should they make it past the final four races, they will have created history and erased the ghastly memories of 2015.
The Honda F1 team boss gave his thoughts on Mercedes’ reliability, and said that he was taken by surprise at the number of penalties they were taking.
“I am very surprised with changing the ICE so frequently,” Tanabe said, as quoted by grandprix247.com.
“Actually, I can’t believe what’s going on. From the PU manufacturer point of view, it’s kind of disappointing to get a PU penalty for the driver.”
Mercedes’ reliability issues are nothing compared to what Honda went through during their partnership with McLaren.
In 2017, a McLaren driver was hit with an astounding 65-place grid penalty due to Honda replacing his car’s power unit. To put it into perspective, penalties in excess of 30 places are considered disastrous.
Honda is set to leave the sport at the end of this season. They will pass on their expertise to Red Bull, who will start making their own engines with the know-how they receive.