In recent weeks, the battle on the track between Red Bull and Mercedes has found an equally bitter correspondence at statements level between the respective team leaders. From flexible rear wings to front wings, passing through fast pit stops, up to the Honda power unit. This last argument set fire to the weekend of the Styrian Grand Prix, with Toto Wolff repeatedly explaining that he was surprised at the step forward shown by the last Japanese engine, given the regulatory freeze. Christian Horner defended himself by justifying the greater speed coming from a very thin rear wing. Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto has intervened in the dispute, illustrating the data held by his team: for Ferrari, Red Bull has only solved the reliability problems and is now able to use the power unit levels of the beginning of the 2021 Formula 1 season.
“[…] First of all, the Maranello team principal [Mattia Binotto, ed] rejected Wolff’s theory according to which Honda would have illegally developed the engine for Red Bull that debuted two Sundays ago […]:” I don’t agree with what I see and I read around. Honda simply solved reliability issues. The performance I see today matches that of Bahrain before the problems occurred, but in order to solve these problems, Honda had to reduce the power. Now that they have cleared them, they are back to their initial level, so this is not a growth. I think they will express themselves on these levels for the rest of the season. We, on the other hand, from Bahrain onwards have been more consistent because the engine allowed us to do so.” – he explained.
Mattia Binotto’s belief is not empirical, but obtained “by looking at the GPS data”. […] (Between us, Ferrari believes it has a more accurate GPS system than the competition) […] ”.
Fulvio Solms, Il Corriere dello Sport, 29 June 2021