During the race in Bahrain, it became clear that despite the gains made by Honda, the Japanese manufacturer is still behind Mercedes and Ferrari, but where are they relative to Renault?
Italian motorsport.com has published a piece revealing some details of engine performance analysis using the commonly accepted method that the teams use to try and identify their competitors’ engine output using sound analysis and some very clever software.
In their story highlights what they believe to be a definitive comparison of each manufacturer, with measurements were taken during Saturday’s qualification of the Bahrain GP.
In it, they claim that two ‘institutes’ have made phonometric surveys to measure engine power and they’ve identified where each manufacturer sits in relation to the other.
The consensus is that output across the board is down on last year. No longer are teams putting out over 1,000 hp on the Q3 engine modes and this is most likely due to the FIA’s clampdown on oil burning. It seems that even on the most aggressive engine modes, the teams are not pushing past 990 hp now.
The regression will almost certainly be recovered with the homologation of the power units evolutions 2 and 3 later this season, however.
The analysis performed by the pair of institutes appears to show that the Ferrari 064 and Mercedes-AMG F1 M10 EQ Power+ appears to be more or less equal in power output.
Last year, Renault made significant gains to close the gap to Mercedes and Ferrari but suffered from engine reliability issues, and sadly this still appears to be the case. Multiple failures already this season has blighted the Renault powered teams relating to the turbo energy recovery system (MGU-H). To their shame, a problem they’ve not been able to fully address still for nearly five years.
Worse still for Renault is that they are now the lowest engine output of the four with Honda just ahead by 7 hp. That said, it’s unfortunate for Red Bull and Max Verstappen fans that the Japanese engine manufacturer is still lagging way behind the Ferrari and Mercedes by at least 38 hp.
That said, the difference is very marginal between Honda and Renault, as evidenced by McLaren’s Carlos Sainz being only away from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in Q3, but maybe where it’ll pay dividends is during the race on Sunday where Honda does appear to be the more reliable of the two.
Hard lines for Daniel Ricciardo’s decision to move to Renault you might say…
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