Hakkinen: Honda to be a force this season

20-03-2019 08:00
by Bobby Vincent
F1 News
Hakkinen: Honda to be a force this season

Former two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen believes the Red Bull Racing-Honda partnership this season is going to be a success after an impressive first race for the pair.

Red Bull opted to switch to Honda power units this season, changing from Renault, in a bid to get closer to Mercedes and Ferrari at the summit of Formula 1.

McLaren previously had a disastrous spell with Honda, but the Japanese manufacturer clawed back some credibility after a decent run with the Red Bull junior squad in Toro Rosso.

Max Verstappen finished an impressive third-place at the weekend in Melbourne, overtaking Sebastian Vettel and even pressuring the five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton towards the concluding stages of the grand prix.

Red Bull have now been tipped to challenge 2018's top two for the rest of the season, with the team struggling at times last season due to the poor reliability of the Renault power unit they had.

Former McLaren man Hakkinen has welcomed the potential charge from Red Bull and Honda in his Unibet column, as quoted by This is F1.

"It has taken four difficult years of development, and the fact that Max Verstappen was able to achieve it by overtaking the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel was pretty special," Hakkinen said.

"It is clear that Red Bull-Honda will be a force in this year's world championship."

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