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Old 15 May 2019, 01:10 am
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Default Honda Racing: Max Verstappen On Podium For Honda in Barcelona

This release contains: 1 Related Document, 3 Photos

  • Verstappen vaults to third in World Championship after five races

  • Gasly climbs into sixth in driver standings

  • Trio of Honda-powered cars in top nine

Max Verstappen's opening-lap pass paved the way for another strong run for the Honda-powered Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team, as the Dutchman stormed to his second podium finish of the Formula 1 season, finishing third in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.

Verstappen, who qualified fourth, fought off a charge from Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in the first corner, then climbed into third with a strong move around the sister Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel. His two-stop strategy allowed him to use the soft Pirellis for his first two stints before moving the medium tires at the end.

The strategy enabled the second-generation F1 driver to build a five-second lead over the Ferrari duo at one point as he sprinted to third place. His streak of five straight top-four finishes to start the season makes Verstappen the first Honda driver since Alain Prost in 1988 to compile such a streak.

His Red Bull teammate Pierre Gasly had another good run this weekend, starting and finishing sixth, securing that spot by fighting off Kevin Magnussen's charges both at the start of the race and again on the late restart following the safety car. The finish matched Gasly's best result of the year and gave him a gap of seven points over Magnussen for sixth in the championship.

Meanwhile, the Honda-powered Toro Rosso cars continued to show promise as Daniil Kvyat came home in ninth to give Toro Rosso its fourth points-paying result in the year's first five races.

His teammate Alex Albon threatened to put four Honda engines in the top 10 for the first time since 1991 (Silverstone), but fell back to 11th as the team had a miscue while pitting during the safety car period. The rookie spent the last laps of the race charging at 10th-placed Romain Grosjean but could not find a way around him and finished 11th for the second consecutive event.

The teams and drivers will run a test session this week before heading to the French Riviera for the May 29 Grand Prix of Monaco.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Technical Director, Honda F1
"It was satisfying to get our second podium finish of the season in the race where teams brought updates. An excellent start from Max saw him move immediately up to third and he showed very strong and consistent pace throughout the race. With Pierre sixth behind the two Ferraris, it means Aston Martin Red Bull Racing had a very good race, which is positive."

"For a while it looked as though we might get all four of our cars into the points, but in the end, we just missed out on that, which was a shame. In both qualifying and the race, the gap to Mercedes is still clear to see. Now we must simply carry on working as hard as possible with the aim of getting even better results in the coming races, maintaining the momentum we had here."

Max Verstappen
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Start: 4th, Finish: 3rd
"I'm trying to maximize everything I have and I'm happy with today's result. We're P3 again which is pretty representative of our pace at the moment, and it's great to score more good points. I knew we had a good chance in the race to fight with Ferrari and that's what we did. At the start it was quite hectic with three cars going into one corner, so I decided to back out of it, but actually in the end I had a good line out of Turn 2 into Turn 3. To take P3 in that corner was very crucial as from there on I could do my own pace and strategy, which worked out well. The Mercedes cars were out of reach, but we were very consistent and we're of course happy to be on the podium. Everybody is very motivated to close the gap and we will try a few things in the test next week that can give us a better direction in which way to work."

Pierre Gasly
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Start: 6th, Finish: 6th
"The first stint was ok but towards the end I started to struggle with grip and degradation. We had a lot of rubber debris in the front wing which meant I was sliding around so the pace just dropped from the second stint onwards. I tried to push as much as I could but I couldn't keep up with the Ferraris in front of me. At the Safety Car restart, I tried a move on Charles but I couldn't make it stick. It was a pretty good fight and I think at the start we actually touched in Turn 3. In the end, it's good to score some points. We have the test coming up on Tuesday so we can try some more things and keep pushing. Looking forwards, I think we have good potential on some of the upcoming tracks which should suit our car better."

Daniil Kvyat
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Start: 9th, Finish: 9th
"There were a few exciting moments today, but unfortunately, we lost our race in the pit lane as the tires weren't ready for me. It was a very last-minute call to pit, these things happen with such tricky situations, and I'm sure we will learn from this as a team. I think we could have finished in P7 as that's where we were running before the pit lane mishap. We still got a couple of points today which is always welcome. The car's performance is improving and I'm feeling always more comfortable with the car. I'm sure we have some good days ahead."

Alex Albon
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Start: 11th, Finish: 11th
"It was disappointing to be so close to points and come away with nothing, but it was good fun racing with Romain. I had to back out of it because I thought I might have had an incident when we both decided to go right at the same time. I had to hit the brakes and lost the momentum into Turn 1, I think if it wasn't for that I would have got passed. The race was lost for us in the pit stop, so we need to review what happened because we should have had two cars in the top 10. It's a frustrating one, but I'm happy with my performance and I'm looking forward to fighting for points again in Monaco."


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