Wouter wrote: ↑
Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:54 pm
godlameroso wrote: ↑
Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:31 pm
They're almost sure they can match Mercedes in the race. We will see.
Verstappen still has a chance to get another win this year.
Asaki did not say that in the Japanese article. He was only talking about the engine:
" The development goal this season was to catch up with Mercedes and we've managed to reach that target
to catch up with Mercedes later this year, " commented Yasuaki Asaki.
"I don't think there will be one circuit during the rest of this season where we can really do well,"
tells Max Verstappen during a Tag Heuer event in Amsterdam.
"If we can finish close to the stage, or maybe even on stage every weekend from now on,
is that the best we can get out of it right now, I think. "
The Honda engine is good enough for a win, but the RBR15 is not as good as last season.
I think COTA will be better for RBR than they themselves think. Their car rotates really well, maybe doesn't have the best traction out of slow corners, but you don't need that in COTA. You just need to carry good speed in the middle speed corners, and a pointy car to navigate the slow stuff. You do need traction out of the last corner though.
I think the Mercedes has more downforce and drag than the RB15 so the fact they are evenly matched still gives them an edge. This is minimized in the race, I didn't want to admit it but unless there are circumstances favoring us, along with the Verstappen effect helping out. The RB15 is more or less where Albon and Gasly have placed it. Ahead of the midfield comfortably ahead, but not up to the level of the top two.
The Honda engine will keep improving, and with the investment Honda is making, its progress will catch the others. The question is when, as it's been 5 years and they've consistently been a year to half a year behind on development.
Honda needs a monster engine to win, because the RB F1 team is not as large as Ferrari or Mercedes F1 teams.
The engine is only 30% of the deficit and the rest comes from slower development of the chassis. Mercedes and Ferrari have kept making gains, Red Bull hasn't made as many. Perhaps this is because more funds have been spent on next year, or Red Bull has been piling on mods but are rather subtle. So yes such methodical changes could take longer to bear fruit. So any restrictions on development due to resources would drag out this process, and would give the illusion of not progressing relative to the others.