Honda F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe has his role tweaked ahead of providing power units to both Red Bull and Toro Rosso for 2019 with a chief engineer reporting to him from each team.

Since Honda’s return to F1 in 2015, initially with McLaren before the switch to Toro Rosso last year, the Japanese engine manufacturer faces a new challenge of delivering power units to two teams for 2019 after securing a deal with Red Bull.

Tanabe, who has overseen Honda’s revival since a disastrous partnership with McLaren, will remain F1 chief but distribute responsibility to two chief engineers, one for each team, who will directly report to him.

Tanabe also confirms Honda will “almost double” its number of trackside engineers alongside bolstering its ranks at its Sakura and Milton Keynes bases.

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“The number of Honda engineers at the track will be almost double to deal with two teams,” Tanabe said. “I will be in overall charge of the F1 project, overseeing how we work with both teams and each team will then have its own Honda Chief Engineer.

“During the race weekend and testing, we have people working in a Mission Control room both in Sakura and Milton Keynes and we have strengthened the functionality there as well, in order to deal with working for two teams.”

Tanabe also confirmed both Red Bull and Toro Rosso will receive equal specification power units from Honda, despite the Italian squad confirming some non-listed parts will be of an older specification, in order to streamline Honda’s doubled-up efforts in 2019.

“We will [supply equally],” he said. “It is the most logical method and one which Honda feels is best, not to mention that the regulations state we must supply all teams equally. But it’s not just a case of supplying the two teams with the same technical hardware.

“We will also treat them equally in terms of the resources we allocate to manage our operations and on the development side. This should be quite a straightforward procedure as the two teams are part of the same family and because we can work with Red Bull Technology.”

 

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