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Verstappen: Honda podium finish 'well deserved'

  • Published on 17 Mar 2019 09:24
  • comments 7
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Max Verstappen says that Honda's first podium in the hybrid era is "well deserved" after the hard work it has put in.

Verstappen ended the Australian Grand Prix in third place but was close behind Lewis Hamilton for second. Honda makes its debut with Red Bull this year, having spent the 2018 campaign with its sister team Toro Rosso.

"I'm very happy to be third here,” said Verstappen. “Of course I’m very happy first of all for the team but also for Honda. Since we started working together it’s been amazing, actually, I’m really enjoying it. Well deserved for them.”

Verstappen made his way past Sebastian Vettel during the race, pitting later than the rest of the front-runners.

The Dutchman said he backed off during his opening stint to save the soft tyres, but found strong pace on the mediums after his pit stop, which allowed him to overtake the four-time world champion.

"For me if you were on the softest tyres then as soon as you got within one-and-a-half seconds they just overheated really quickly,” he said.

“So I had to back off and try to just save my tyres and keep driving basically because it felt like I couldn’t place an attack. That’s why I did so I could extend it by 10 laps compared to Seb.

“As soon as I got onto the medium tyre the car felt really good. I had a really good balance and I was just slowly pushing up to him but not destroying the tyres and as soon as I had the opportunity to go for it I went for it and luckily it paid off.

"And then I drove to Lewis. In general I had a bit more pace than Seb. I think we were faster than him but at this track it’s just so hard to get past.”

Replies (7)

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  • siggy74

    Posts: 95

    Who would of thought a GP2 engine on the podium, well not Alonso,lol

    We deserved Honda ;p

    • + 1
    • Mar 17 2019 - 11:57
    • Yeah, about 5 years later by also using another team as a Guinea pig for a full year.

      • + 0
      • Mar 17 2019 - 16:42
  • Verstappen - hell of a drive today from him. He didn't win but he drove brilliantly. Right to call-out Honda - hug progress and it bodes well for rest of the season.

    • + 0
    • Mar 17 2019 - 16:28
  • This was such a wonderful moment to me. I realize that as with Renault, this is more due to Red Bull's own prowess than Honda itself, but to see a Honda-powered car up there as a fan, after having seen them struggle and almost have to exit F1, this felt like a win to me. I still doubt Marko's 5 win spiel, but I do think Honda now have a package capable of claiming wins.

    • + 0
    • Mar 17 2019 - 16:32
    • I must admit it predicted less performance. I was wrong at least in Melbourne. Who knows what Red Bull would have been capable of with a proper second driver.

      I am still holding out on reliability, because recently that was the biggest issue. But hey Calle, Honda coming good is worthy of celebration by everyone. It's good gor F1

      • + 1
      • Mar 17 2019 - 16:44
    • So did I, kinda a trait of cynical pricks like meself, even when it comes to my favourite brand, but I could never have predicted this. Heaven knows about the reliability, but from what I've read, they have enough wriggle room in that regard, both from RB's side and Honda's. But good god, AJ, like you with McLaren, I BELIEVE! I'm literally jumping in place as I write this! My Nippon-Sith Empire is coming to fruition! :D

      • + 0
      • Mar 17 2019 - 18:02
  • cricho

    Posts: 78

    Great to see HONDA delivering podiums again. Great result to begin he season for VER and RBR. They will be fighting for podiums this season. Amazing on track pass by VER over VET! Evidence of HONDAS evolution.....
    Well deserved for them!

    • + 1
    • Mar 17 2019 - 18:08
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15 - Mar 17
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29 - Mar 31
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

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15 - Mar 17
Australia Albert Park
29 - Mar 31
12 - Apr 14
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
10 - May 12
23 - May 26
Monaco Monte Carlo
7 - Jun 9
21 - Jun 23
France Paul Ricard
28 - Jun 30
Austria Red Bull Ring
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26 - Jul 28
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2 - Aug 4
Hungary Hungaroring
30 - Sep 1
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