How Mercedes came to exploit a rule created to save Honda

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Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W12 leads Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 14, 2021 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W12 leads Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 14, 2021 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Photo by Buda Mendes

 • Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have used 11 engines in 2021.
 • This tally has nothing to do with reliability, but instead cashes in on the unintended consequences of a rule that once served to save Honda's face in the early days of the turbo-hybrid era.
 • For motoring news, go to Wheels24


One of 2021's most delightful ironies is the fact that the Red Bull Honda-powered team is fighting a team – Mercedes-AMG – that once was known as… you guessed it, Honda Racing F1 Team.

The three-pointed star officially returned to F1 after buying the Brawn outfit at the end of its fluke championship-winning 2009, which in prior form existed from 2006 to 2008 as the Honda factory effort.

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