Mattia Binotto the team principal of the Ferrari Formula 1 team has backed Red Bull after questions were raised about the manner in which the 2021 Honda power-unit was developed.
With Mercedes and Red Bull locked in an intense fight for supremacy, the off track politics have been as intense as their battle on the circuit. The Styrian Grand Prix offered the latest twist in the saga with Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff calling into question the legality of Red Bull's power-unit. Binotto however is having none of it.
"I have read and heard some things regarding the Honda engine and I do not agree with what I have read," Binotto told Corriere dello Sport.
"Honda has replaced some parts of the engine to improve the reliability of the power unit and with that they have solved their problems. Having solved the reliability issues with it, they can now fully exploit their potential again.
"So I don't see any difference between the power the Honda engine showed during the test days in Bahrain compared to the horsepower they had in the past races. After Bahrain they have had to run with a somewhat throttled engine due to reliability issues, but given that the reliability issues have been resolved, they can now fully exploit their potential again, so it makes sense."
Binotto also drew a parallel between the two teams citing how Red Bull's ascendency has coincided with uncertainty at Mercedes.
"At Red Bull you can now see the result of years of hard work," Binotto explained.
"Despite the fact that the team has won little in recent years, they have always stuck to Christian Horner and his engineers. They have always kept working on improving the chassis and it pays off. now out, while at Mercedes the opposite is happening.
"Already in 2020 Mercedes was busy with all kinds of management matters. Things were changed in the structure and the contract with Lewis Hamilton was only extended in February of this year. Those kinds of things are distracting and that is never good.
"That's why we are at Ferrari We are also so focused on ourselves, so that we again create a stable basis from which we can perform."