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Old 10 Jun 2019, 06:06 pm
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Default Honda Racing: Honda Earns Three Top-10 Results in F1 Canadian GP

This release contains: 1 Related Document, 3 Photos

  • Verstappen gains four positions to finish in top five

  • Kvyat snares final points-paying position with late pass

  • First lap contact dooms Albon to DNF

The Formula 1 World Championship made its first visit of the year to North America this weekend on an unseasonably warm weekend in Montreal, where three Honda-powered entries earned valuable championship points.

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen overcame some bad luck in qualifying to earn his seventh consecutive top-five finish to open the season while his teammate Pierre Gasly ran in the top 10 all day before settling for eighth.

The Red Bull Toro Rosso Hondas had mixed results as rookie Alex Albon was sandwiched between two Racing Point machines through the race's opening turns and lost a front wing, forcing him to pit on the first lap and setting the stage for his first DNF of the season. Albon's teammate Daniil Kvyat however, battled throughout the event and made a strong late-race pass for 10th place to earn his third straight points-paying finish.

Verstappen started a season-low ninth after Kevin Magnussen's late-session accident blunted the Dutchman's last-lap opportunity to advance to Q3, but he was able to then start the race on harder tires, allowing him to run longer and make up ground on a clear track while others in front pitted earlier. Verstappen then stopped on Lap 48 for medium tires and quickly dispatched the Renaults of Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo to earn a fifth-place result.

Gasly started a season-best fifth but pitted after seven laps for the harder Pirellis. The warm temperatures coupled with the hard braking necessary at the end of the long Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve straights forced the Frenchman to manage his tires to reach the end of the 70-lap race, resulting in an eighth-place finish.

Kvyat parlayed his fourth straight top-10 starting spot into a points-paying finish, but it took a strong late-race move to get it done. The Russian driver found himself in a pitched battle with Carlos Sainz Jr. for 10th in the race's waning laps, and sealed the deal with a gutsy pass on the inside of Turn 1 with four laps to run.

Verstappen maintained his hold on fourth place in the drivers' championship with his result while Gasly remained in sixth. Kvyat and Albon are 14th and 15th respectively in the standings, but the Toro Rosso Honda team is seventh and just 11 points out of the top five.

The series has a week off before back-to-back races in France and Austria at the end of June.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Technical Director, Honda F1
"Verstappen performed well to recover from ninth on the grid, the result of an unfortunate qualifying yesterday, to finish fifth this afternoon. However, he lost time, stuck behind slower cars in the early stages, after which he was unable to challenge for a podium position. We also have Gasly, eighth and Kvyat, tenth, in the points, which is positive. Daniil never gave up fighting and claimed his point right at the very end. As for Alex, he was unlucky to be involved in a first lap collision which meant he had to pit to change the nose and there was nothing much he could do from there. We must work to improve in order to perform better as soon as possible, given that we are now coming to our first back-to-back races in France and Austria."

Max Verstappen
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Start 9th, Finish: 5th
"It was a controlled drive today. We stayed out of trouble at the beginning of the race and there was not much more I could do in the closing stages. I did a very long first stint which worked quite well to clear the traffic and once we pitted I quickly cleared the Renaults. From there I pulled away and was able to focus on my own race but we were not quick enough to catch the leaders. It was at least fun doing a bit of overtaking and we scored good points again but I think realistically fifth was where we expected to finish. It was not our weekend and I would of course like more but we have to work hard now to try and close the gap at the next race."

Pierre Gasly
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Start: 5th, Finish: 8th
"It was a pretty difficult day but the car actually felt quite good so it is disappointing to finish where we did. We expected to be stronger than this. We struggled with traffic and had to save the brakes, which compromised us a bit, and I of course wanted to finish better than this. We need to analyze everything and see what we can improve but I also need to work hard before the next race. I hope we can find more pace and come back stronger for my home race

Daniil Kvyat
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Start: 10th, Finish: 10th
"It was a cool race! I really didn't want to finish P11, it would have sucked if we didn't get any points today. It was a good fight with Carlos at the end, I like having battles with him on track as it's always on the limit, and it was nice to get the overtake done. I think we got pretty much everything we could out of the car today, so I'm very happy with how the race went. Now we'll continue to work hard to score more points in the next races."

Alex Albon
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Start: 13th, Finish: DNF
"It was a tough race today, we had some front wing damage at the start which pretty much put an end to my race. Maybe I could have braked later in the corner and Perez could have gone on the inside, but it is what it is. After that to be honest, the pace wasn't so strong, so we need to have a look at that. I've been struggling a bit on the long runs this weekend, so we have some work to do to understand why."


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