Max Verstappen was initially the only driver to receive the upgrade ahead of the race at Spa-Francorchamps last month.

With Honda bowing out of the sport at the end of the year, it accelerated the development of its 2022 power unit. 

With Verstappen embroiled in a titanic title fight with Lewis Hamilton, Honda was keen to upgrade the 2020 version of the energy store it had been using during the first part of the year.

As permitted by the regulations, manufacturers are allowed to upgrade each element of their power units from their 2020 specification once this year. 

Honda upgraded its internal combustion engine ahead of the season but waited until Belgium to introduce its new ES.

“This new ES has been developed in a project that has taken several years, with an aim to combine improvements in energy efficiency with significant reductions in weight,” said Honda F1’s Head of power unit development Yasuaki Asaki.

“In what will be the company’s final season in the sport, Honda F1 has managed to introduce the new ES – fitted with a lighter, low-resistance, highly efficient and ultra-high power battery cell – just in time for the start of the second half of the season.

“In order to achieve the ultimate goal of defeating Mercedes and winning the championship before leaving F1 at the end of the 2021 season, we recognised the need to enhance performance. As such, the development plan for the new ES was brought forward substantially from the original goal of 2022 to introduction during the 2021 season.”

Verstappen currently holds a five-point lead over Hamilton in the drivers’ championship, while Red Bull trails Mercedes by 18 points.