Wolff: Honda will be strong competitor in future

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Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff expects Honda to shake off its woeful 2015 campaign to bounce back as a ‘strong competitor’ in the near future.

The Japanese manufacturer’s reunion with McLaren was surrounded by much hype but the two partners ended up experiencing a torrid season amidst poor engine performance and reliability. Wolff’s comments echo those of Mercedes engine boss Andy Cowell, who recently described Honda as “a big threat”.

“Honda is a huge organisation with lots of resource, and they were the power unit with the most impressive development curve through 2015,” Wolff said in Mercedes’ latest YouTube video.

“Even if it was a very difficult year for them, it was still very good what they achieved in terms of how they progressed through the season. I have no doubt they will be a strong competitor in the future.”

Mercedes has been ruling the F1 roost since the introduction of the current 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged power units, but Wolff insists the double world champions must not rest on their laurels if they want to enjoy further success.

“As a team, because the environment always changes, the regulations change, the politics… you need to adapt yourself – I read once that the most successful species are the ones that are able to adapt themselves the most quickly and this is how Formula One functions.

“There are threats we know today, but there are ones we don’t know and they’ll develop tomorrow, so we just need to be aware that anything is possible in Formula One.”

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