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Wolff doubles down on Honda power claims

Wolff doubles down on Honda power claims
© Reuters
Toto Wolff has doubled down on his claim that Red Bull has raced ahead of Mercedes due in large part to engine power gains.

Toto Wolff has doubled down on his claim that Red Bull has raced ahead of Mercedes due in large part to engine power gains.

Honda took fresh engines to Paul Ricard, prompting Mercedes boss Wolff to observe that it explains why Red Bull has now put its nose ahead in 2021.

Christian Horner hit back, with the Red Bull chief pointing out that engine development is actually tightly restricted at present.

Wolff, though, says Honda has still managed to improve.

"You can do that if you increase the durability, then you can perhaps get more performance out of it even if you have almost the same hardware," he is quoted by Speed Week.

"They have clearly made a big leap - bigger than we did. You can see it on the straights already. There is no passing them at the moment."

Another theory is that while Red Bull is charging ahead for the 2021 title with full focus, Wolff has decided developing the all-new 2022 car is even more important.

When asked if winning the title in 2021 or the three seasons after that is more important, the Austrian insisted: "They are all equally important to me.

"But you have to consider that the 2022 regulations will remain in place for a few years, so the steps we take for that now are enormously stronger than the same effort with the current car," he admitted.

So for the short term at least, beginning at Red Bull's own circuit in Austria this weekend and next, Wolff admits Mercedes is no longer the favourite.

"I have no illusions," he said.

"With the current package that Red Bull has with the power and the good chassis, they are very difficult to beat."

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina24141351
United StatesUnited States20231659
JapanJapan175931
AustraliaAustralia1431431
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12191344
Great BritainGreat Britain10101232
Today's Olympic highlights header

Monday's key events


ATHLETICS
· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

SAILING
· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

FOOTBALL
· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

CYCLING
· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

WEIGHTLIFTING
· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

HOCKEY
· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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