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Old 15 Apr 2019, 08:46 am
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Default Honda Racing: Three Honda Drivers Earn Points-Paying Positions in China

This release contains: 1 Related Document, 3 Photos

  • Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly runs fastest race lap

  • First pair of top-six finishes for Honda since 2006

  • First consecutive triple top-10 result for Honda in F1 since 1991

Honda put together its best set of Formula 1 results in 13 seasons Sunday in Shanghai as Red Bull Racing teammates Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly finished fourth and sixth respectively in the Chinese Grand Prix. The result marked the first time that two Honda-powered cars finished in the top six since the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix (Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello).

The Toro Rosso squad also found capable power in its Honda engines as rookie Alex Albon came from the back of the field after a heavy crash in final practice to finish 10th, earning championship points in his second consecutive race. Albon's teammate Daniil Kvyat had a promising day scuttled on the opening lap when he was caught up in contact with the McLarens of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris, leading to an early retirement.

Verstappen ran in the top five all day and used timely pit strategy to pass the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc to claim the fourth spot in what was the 1000th race run in the history of Formula 1. The result allowed Verstappen to hold on to third place in the driver standings after three races, behind only the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Gasly lapped in sixth position throughout the event, and his wide lead over seventh-placed Daniel Ricciardo allowed him to make a stop for soft tires with three laps to go. The soft rubber enabled the Frenchman to set the fastest lap of the race on his last trip around the 3.387-mile Shanghai layout, earning an extra championship point.

The championship will next head to Baku for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on April 28.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Technical Director, Honda F1
"It is good to have three cars in the points again, even if we were unable to finish on the podium. Max did a very good job to split the Ferraris to end up fourth. Pierre has now scored points in the last two races and also got the race fastest lap today, which is good news for everyone in the team. I hope he will carry this momentum into the upcoming races."

"As for Toro Rosso, Alex did incredibly well to come back from that very big accident on Saturday morning and go from pit lane to tenth at the flag and pick up another point. Well done also to the team who worked so hard to get the car ready for the race. It was a busy weekend on the PU (Power Unit) side. Now we must analyze the problems we had with Daniil's (Kvyat) PU. It was also another weekend when we saw a clear gap between the top runners. We will keep pushing hard on the development front in order to close that gap for further races."

Max Verstappen
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Start: 5th, Finish: 4th
"It was not an easy race but as a team we did a really good job today. We planned a good strategy to undercut a Ferrari and stay ahead, so we definitely maximized the result to finish fourth ahead of Charles (Leclerc). I had a good battle with Seb (Vettel) when he came out of the pits on colder tires which was good fun. That was my one shot and I tried but after that you could see that we didn't quite have the pace to fight him to the end. I was pushing really hard and we can be happy with the team result. We still need a bit more pace to fight Mercedes and Ferrari but we are in a good position and collecting solid points each race."

Pierre Gasly
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Start: 6th, Finish: 6th – Fastest Race Lap
"I'm happy to score my first fastest lap in F1 today. We saw that we had quite a big margin behind us in the last few laps, so we decided to go for it and have an extra pit stop which worked. During the race I tried to keep the rhythm, take care of my tires and improve my feeling with the car. I'm slowly getting more confident, I think we take one step every weekend but of course I would like to take three every time. There is still work for me to do for the next race but the good thing is that I know what I need to improve and what I can do better. We are quite happy to finish in the points and take the extra point for fastest lap with us. Tonight I will make my way to the factory and spend tomorrow and the day after in the sim and we'll work for the next race."

Alex Albon
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Start: 20th, Finish: 10th
"Firstly, I would like to say a big thank you to the team for their hard work yesterday. It was looking a bit dark after FP3, but the guys worked very hard last night to change the chassis, so they deserved a good race and I was happy to bring home a point to reward their effort. We had the pace all weekend and I was confident we had a good shot at getting into Q3, although unfortunately we didn't get the chance due to the repairs. It was a difficult race because we initially had planned a two-stop strategy, but the degradation was higher than most people expected. Since we knew from FP2 we were good on our tires, we decided to go for it and survive on the hard compound. I was a bit nervous at the end when (Romain) Grosjean was almost catching me, but I'm really happy to have pulled that off!"

Daniil Kvyat
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Start: 11th, Finish: 19th
"It was an unfortunate race today because after lap one the race was pretty much over. The pace we showed with a damaged car was very strong, so it's disappointing not to be able to transform that into a good result as there was potential to finish inside the points today. I have seen the first lap incident with the two McLarens and I disagree with penalty. I think it was a typical lap one sandwich and these things can happen as we're so close together."


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