Red Bull came out swinging in the first race of the 2021 F1 season in Bahrain, putting in a strong performance while Max Verstappen was unlucky not to bring home a race victory amid controversial circumstances.
While the team were on an upward trajectory even at the end of 2020, with Verstappen winning the final race of the season at Abu Dhabi comfortably, the improved performance this year has been attributed in large part to the brand new Honda power unit.
The Japanese manufacturer is exiting the sport at the end of this season, but has seemingly gone all-in on its engine for the final year, and the firm’s technical chief Toyoharu Tanabe has said the improvements are down to the more compact size of the unit, according to Motorsport.com
"The camshaft position has been lowered, reducing the height of the power unit, as well as the centre of gravity. It's a compact package,” he said.
"It is difficult to come up with precise figures about how much more downforce there is or how much the lap times have improved. However, Adrian Newey said he was grateful that we made the power source compact.
"There is no doubt that our new power source contributes to the performance of the chassis."