Honda Formula 1 Technical Director Toyoharu Tanabe has revealed that the way Red Bull and AlphaTauri use their power units will be changed if necessary.
Aside from some small issues, mainly affecting Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda, Honda have continued their strong reliability and appear to have an engine that is capable of matching Mercedes. It's helped Max Verstappen to win the last three F1 races to build a 32-point lead over Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers' Championship.
"So far we have only had nine races and then we introduced the second power unit for three drivers from the French Grand Prix," Tanabe said in a press statement. "The PU works as expected in terms of performance and reliability, but again there have only been nine races completed.
"We have a long season from now and we’ll keep watching and make a balance between performance and reliability. We will adapt the power unit usage if it is required.”
AlphaTauri have consistently battled for points-paying positions whilst Red Bull have a 44-point advantage over Mercedes in the Constructors' Championship. Tanabe reiterated that there are still 14 rounds to go in the 2021 Formula 1 season.
“I think it’s a great situation to have good performance and to have won six races out of the nine so far," added Tanabe. "As a result we are leading both the drivers’ and constructors’ championship, so it’s good.
“The overall package performance has been improved from a lot of hard work from last season and the off-season, and we haven’t stopped even after we started the season. So these efforts improved our performance and then we achieved the current performance.”