French GP: Honda introduce new engines for Red Bull, Toro Rosso
"Power increase" for both Red Bull cars, plus Kvyat's Toro Rosso, in France, but Honda not yet at Mercedes and Ferrari levels
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 19/06/19 10:40am
Honda are introducing a more powerful engine for Red Bull and Toro Rosso at this weekend's French GP as the Japanese manufacturer continues its quest to close up on Mercedes and Ferrari.
Although Honda say they have "not yet matched the figures from the manufacturers currently leading the championship", they expect their second engine upgrade of the season to deliver a "power increase" over the version raced in Canada.
Both Red Bull drivers, Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly, will run the upgrade, plus Daniil Kvyat for Toro Rosso - although this will trigger a 10-place grid penalty for the Russian driver as he has already used the maximum three engines this season.
Alex Albon, who is also already at his 2019 engine limit, will continue with the previous specification for now.
"The changes to the previous specification are mainly around the ICE and the turbocharger," explained Honda's technical director Toyoharu Tanabe.
"Our test bench data shows a power increase over the previous version of our PU, however we know that we have not yet matched the figures from the manufacturers currently leading the championship.
"But it's a step in the right direction and we will continue our development throughout the rest of the season, calling on the resources of the whole company."
Can Red Bull challenge Mercedes and Ferrari?
After beating Ferrari on the road with one of their cars in Spain and Monaco, Red Bull slipped back to a clear third place in Montreal behind the Scuderia and runaway championship leaders Mercedes.
But the team believe they are continuing to make improvements to the RB15 as they push to get closer to victory contention.
"We maximised things in Canada and we are working hard to improve all aspects," said Max Verstappen.
"I feel comfortable in the car so I hope we will be able to challenge the frontrunners more closely in France."
Sky Sports F1's LIVE French GP schedule
Thursday, June 20
2pm: Drivers' Press Conference
5pm: Welcome to the Weekend
Friday, June 21
9.45am: French GP Practice One build-up
10am: French GP Practice One
11.50am: F2 Practice
1.45pm: French GP Practice Two build-up
2pm: French GP Practice Two
3.50pm: F2 Qualifying
4.30pm: French GP: The Story So Far
5pm: F3 Qualifying
Saturday, June 22
9.30am: F3 Race One
10.45am: French GP Practice Three build-up
11am: French GP Practice Three
1pm: French GP Qualifying build-up
2pm: FRENCH GP QUALIFYING
3.35pm: F2 Race One
4.45pm: The F1 Show
Sunday, June 23
8.55am: F3 Race Two
10.15am: F2 Race Two
12.30pm: French GP Pit Lane Live
1.30pm: French GP On The Grid
2.10pm: THE FRENCH GRAND PRIX LIVE!
4pm: French GP Paddock Live
5pm: French GP: The Notebook
8pm: French GP highlights
9pm: French GP race replay
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