As Honda and Red Bull enjoy the signed contract extension of Max Verstappen, they most likely made a case to Max that they could and would provide and engine and chassis that can win. I do not doubt they will in time.
Part of the confidence may have been born from the late 2019 tactical move the team did in seeking engine fuel performance clarifications by craftily sending the FIA three possible modifications (which rival teams of Ferrari felt the Italian team may be deploying one of those options) to get a ruling from the regulatory body of Formula 1.
The FIA replied that these modification would contravene the regulations and despite Ferrari’s insistence that they were legal, their performance dropped for the balance of the season.
Red Bull told Autosport that this move was important for 2020 and benefitted everyone.
“The power unit aspect of the car is an incredibly complex piece of kit,” Horner told Autosport. “And I think that the FIA don’t have the expertise that the teams have developed.
“I think what has been clarified is a lockdown in various areas, which is focused on what’s happening going forward rather than looking behind us.
“And for us, what was enormously important was to have absolute clarity going into the 2020 season.”
Asked if he felt that grey areas in the rules had been exploited, Horner said: “We were very grateful for the clarification that came. That’s for the benefit of everybody.”
It is important for 2020 and specifically Honda who are making big gains int eh performance area. With the hybrid power units reaching the edges of their possible development cycle, it is critical that tricks are avoided in order to reach parity with Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari. This leaves the biggest factor as the chassis and we know Red Bull can design a terrific chassis.
The question is, if Ferrari were legal, then why the drop in performance after the US GP? IF they are legal, then Red Bull Honda have a lot of work to do as does Mercedes and Renault. Time will tell but if F1 doesn’t change the engines for 2021 onward, this could be a big move for not only 2020 but at least until the end of Max’s contract in 2023.
Hat Tip: Autosport