Honda F1 Technical Director Toyoharu Tanabe says the new Energy Store fitted to Max Verstappen's car at the Belgian Grand Prix will help improve performance in three key areas.
With Honda's intellectual property being handed over to Red Bull Powertrains when the impending engine freeze is introduced in 2022, the last push for upgrades is well underway.
Engine manufacturers are permitted to upgrade the individual components of the hybrid power unit once per season. After bringing in a new combustion engine, Honda have now introduced an updated Energy Store – adding it to Verstappen's car at Spa-Francorchamps.
Tanabe noted that the new component was developed in collaboration with Honda R&D and their suppliers, resulting in a higher quality Energy Store.
"There are some reasons for the new Energy Store," Tanabe told RacingNews365.com and other members of the media.
"One is performance, then reliability and then the weight.
"The performance means an efficient electricity system that contributes to the PU performance. With the reliability, we developed the energy storage in collaboration with Honda R&D, and then our engineers closely worked with our supplier, which means it is a higher quality than the previous one.
"Of course, in this sport reliability is very important for the PU because of the sporting regulations.
"[Lastly] is the weight. Our energy storage was a little bit heavier than the regulation [allowed], so we've now tried to match that lower limit. The weight contributes to the performance of the car, so that's three aspects [in which] we've improved our overall performance."
The new component will thus aid Red Bull in their push for World Championship glory in 2021, as well as 2022, during the transition from Honda to Red Bull Powertrains.