Honda motorsport boss Masashi Yamamoto admits the company won’t be trying to stay within Formula 1’s limit on engine parts in 2019.
Currently, every driver can only use three internal combustion engines, MGU-H and turbochargers, and two MGU-K, control electronics and batteries over the course of a season.
Last year, only Mercedes and Ferrari of the four manufacturers were able to those boundaries and that may well be the case again this year.
Indeed, as Honda prepare for a new partnership with Red Bull, reliability remains the only question after significant gains in power over the past 12 months.
And now Yamamato was quoted by Japanese outlet Sportiva as claiming the Japanese company will be targeting the use of five engines over the season, meaning at least two races where penalties will be needed.
Permitted upgrades may be expected as power sensitive circuits like Baku and Canada, but discussions are reportedly already taking place between Honda and Red Bull as to which circuits would be preferable to take those grid drops.
Monza would be a strong possibility with possibly Hockenheim a few races earlier also a circuit where overtaking would be easier.
The question will be whether these penalties could prove decisive as Red Bull target a title challenge with Max Verstappen in 2019.
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