Red Bull's new 2022 power unit, produced and manufactured by Honda, is yet to match the power output of the 2021 version, according to reports in German media.
For 2022, F1 switches to a new 'E10' fuel which will see an increase of the ethanol content to 10 percent, with 90 percent fossil fuel sources. This increase is causing a big headache for the engine manufacturers as they attempt to make up for the dip in horsepower that this is causing compared to the older E5 fuel.
Power outputs are estimated to drop by around 20 horsepower, although Ferrari and Alpine have both reportedly already compensated for the power loss.
However, Honda are, reportedly, not quite at that same level of optimism just yet. According to Helmut Marko, the new power unit is yet to match the power output of the 2021 units, but progress is being made.
"Honda is working hard on the adaptation," Marko is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.
"What I hear is positive, but the performance is not yet the same as in 2021. You will generally have to wait to see how it looks in racing trim."
A new challenge in 2022
While Honda have officially withdrawn from Formula 1, the Japanese manufacturer is still building the 2022 power units for Red Bull as the slow transition to completely hand over to Red Bull Powertrains continues.
As reported recently, Honda's ties with Red Bull are set to remain in place until 2025.
Looking ahead to the 2022 season, Marko said that the goal at Red Bull is to deliver back-to-back titles as they aim to hit the ground running with the new technical regulations.
"The declared goal is the world title," Marko said. "With such a big rule change, you can never be sure."
But Marko reckons that, despite the turmoil of the new rules, it will still be familiar faces at the front of the Formula 1 grid when the season gets underway in Bahrain.
"Mercedes and we have the potential, the people and the continuity," he commented.
"That speaks again for a fight at the highest level. Especially since there are no other drivers like [Lewis] Hamilton and [Max] Verstappen."
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