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.”