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Old 09 Jul 2019, 12:52 pm
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Default Honda Racing: Max Verstappen And Honda Win Austrian Grand Prix

First win of hybrid F1 era for Honda First Honda F1 victory since 2006 Verstappen vaults to third place in championship with win
This release contains: 1 Related Document, 3 Photos

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen put together one of the best drives of his young career to bring Honda its first victory in the Formula 1 World Championship since Jenson Button won in Hungary in 2006.


Thrilling legions of orange-clad Dutch fans, Verstappen overcame a rough start that dropped him to seventh place after the opening lap to claim his sixth career F1 win. The Red Bull driver came from 14 seconds behind and executed a perfectly-timed pass of Charles LeClerc's Ferrari with three laps to go to earn the victory at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria.


Starting on the medium Pirelli tires, Verstappen was able to make his rubber last 10 laps longer than his competitors, ensuring that he would have fresher tires at the end of the 71-lap event. He made full use of the better tires, passing Sebastien Vettel for third on Lap 50, powering past the Mercedes of Vallteri Bottas on Lap 56, and then going to battle with LeClerc.


The Dutchman ran down the young Ferrari driver and the pair had a wheel-to-wheel battle through Turn 3 on Lap 68, before Verstappen made the pass in the same spot one orbit later, taking the lead after side-to-side contact exiting the turn. The contact initiated a post-race review by the race stewards, but after much deliberation no penalties were given and the Red Bull Honda kept its spot at the top of the podium.


Verstappen's teammate Pierre Gasly qualified 8th and also made up some positions with late-race passes, getting by Kimi Raikkonen and Carlos Sainz Jr. to secure a seventh-place result, marking his fifth consecutive points-paying result.


The Red Bull Toro Rosso Hondas had a tougher day as both cars started deep in the field. Alex Albon gridded 18th after a penalty for an engine change while Daniil Kvyat started a luckless 19th after having to lift to avoid competitors on his last lap of Q1. The pair battled through the scorching hot day, with the rookie Albon finishing 15th while Kvyat wound up 17th.


The victory, along with an extra point for running the fastest lap, allowed Verstappen to vault Vettel for third place in the championship, leading the Ferrari driver with three points after nine races. Gasly's finish kept him in sixth place and widened his gap to 13 points over McLaren's Sainz.


The series will have a week off to celebrate the victory before heading to Silverstone for the Rolex British Grand Prix July 14.


Takahiro Hachigo
Chief Executive Officer, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.Director, Honda F1
"It is a great pleasure for us to win once more in Formula One, especially because getting to this point has not been straightforward since our return to the sport in 2015. First of all, I would like to thank Max and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing for this victory. Of course, we must also thank Scuderia Toro Rosso and all the drivers who have given so much support to the project, as well as all the suppliers and related parties. I want to thank all our fans. With their support, we will keep challenging as we strive towards our ultimate goal, which is to win the world championship, taking this victory as a first step. Any future success we have is also thanks to our fans who are really a part of our team."


Toyoharu Tanabe
Technical Director, Honda F1
"Thanks to the efforts of all the Honda F1 staff in Japan and the UK, who worked tirelessly on our PU development, we finally made it, our first win in the hybrid era, the first since Hungary 2006. And a special word of thanks to all their families who supported them. Thanks of course to Max for a great drive and to Aston Martin Red Bull Racing for providing him with a fantastic car. We must not forget the great contribution made by Scuderia Toro Rosso, who helped us get back on the right path last year.


Max Verstappen
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Start 2nd, Finish: 1st
"It was an incredible race and I'm so happy to take the team's second victory at our home Grand Prix. It was a shame at the start as I triggered anti-stall and dropped back to seventh. From there onwards the pace was really good, I stayed calm and kept pushing hard. The second stint was decisive for us as the car really came alive. Once I passed Valtteri I thought I could have a go for the win as our pace was so strong but you never know. We passed Charles with a few laps to go so I'm extremely happy. The move was close racing and if you can't make moves like that I think it is better to stay at home. I want to say a big thank you to everyone at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, all weekend we have been working really well and the upgrades seem to have worked. Thank you to all the crew here, and of course Honda, it's not been easy for them over the past years but to win for them today is just incredible. "


Pierre Gasly
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Start: 8th, Finish: 7th
"It was a tough race and a difficult day. I didn't have great pace on the soft tire in the first stint and then I was stuck behind the cars in front. On the second stint, I pushed too hard at the beginning and destroyed the hard tire after only a couple of laps which left me with massive blisters, so from there I was just slow and I didn't have the pace to catch Lando (Norris). Overall, it's nice to see the new upgrades are working with Max. He did a fantastic job so this is positive and we now look forward to Silverstone. On my side, I'm not very happy with my performance and I could have managed the race a lot better. I'm a really competitive guy and there is work to do. I haven't found exactly what I want from the car so we will keep pushing, but it's good to see the car is working and I think we have a good direction for the upcoming races.


Daniil Kvyat
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Start: 19th, Finish: 17th
"It wasn't exactly the most enjoyable race of my life, although we saw it coming yesterday after qualifying. I was carrying more downforce today, so I was a sitting duck in the race. It just wasn't our day today, it was one of those weekends where we were far away from everything. We know we're better than this, so we need to reset and move forward. We will put these two races behind us and try to extract everything out of the car in the next few races. "


Alex Albon
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Start: 18th (Grid Penalty for engine change), Finish: 15th  
"Unfortunately, we didn't have the pace today, it was a tough first stint where we weren't quick enough. We weren't too bad in the second half of the race, but we lost too much time in the first stint. It's a difficult one to swallow because our long runs were looking quite good on Friday, and that's two races in a row where we've struggled with the balance of the car, so we need to figure out where we can improve. "


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