The Red Bull-Renault divorce was one of the most spoken about headlines in the 2018 season, as in the initial part of the season it had seemed more and more likely that Red Bull would continue with Renault.
However, with growing reliability and performance issues, Red Bull decided to end things with Renault, and go ahead with Honda, the next best alternative.
Honda had already been working with Toro Rosso, and from the data that they received post the Canadian GP, they were confident enough to announce the move.
Now, whilst Red Bull have been largely confident about how Honda would perform next season, they have been hit with a slight blow early on in 2019.
‘Avoid pointless mistakes and control his emotions’
— FOX MOTORSPORT (@Fox_Motorsport) December 28, 2018
Honda has split from leading simulation and testing company AVL following a difference of opinion between the Honda engineers and an AVL project leader.
Furthermore, the Honda engine has been suffering from vibration issues, something that is causing massive issues in testing, as it is not allowing the power unit to run at full capacity.
Now, in a statement from Helmut Marko, it has been confirmed that Honda have indeed split from AVL and that engine guru Mario Illien has been brought in to sort out the vibrations issues.
[AUTOBILD EXCLUSIVE] "Helmut Marko also said that the collaboration between ex-Mercedes engine boss Mario Illien and Honda would be limited. He was hired to stop strong vibration in the internal combustion engine but he had no "brilliant idea". Honda to work alone now#F1 pic.twitter.com/26uRuYMhDa
— tami. (@Vetteleclerc) January 4, 2019
Honda have split from one of their partners and are reportedly unable to run the engine at full capacity.
— Planet F1 (@Planet_F1) January 7, 2019
Marko has also confirmed that Honda is already at a level higher than Renault and that they are doing everything they can to present the perfect car to Max Verstappen.
“Appropriate measures were taken to solve the problem,” Marko said in a statement.
“Honda has already overtaken Renault and will be even better in 2019.
“Then Max [Verstappen] will have everything he needs.
“He is improving all the time. There seems to be no limit for him.” he added.