Red Bull: "Really impressive" Honda been "beyond expectation" in 2019

07-12-2019 18:59
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
Red Bull: Really impressive Honda been beyond expectation in 2019

After the first season of their new engine partnership with Honda which yielded nine podiums and three wins, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner admitted the partnership has been "beyond expectation" from the Bulls' point of view.

Verstappen surprisingly scored a podium on the first race of the season, the first Honda-powered win since their return to F1 in 2015. Things got even better in Austria, when Max Verstappen put in a blinding performance and took the first Honda-powered victory since Jenson Button in 2006.

The Dutchman would go on to win two more races in Germany and Brazil and collected nine podiums in what was his best-ever season in the sports, something which was partly made possible by Honda's performance and reliability.

"I think it's been a transitionary year for the team," Horner told Autosport when reflecting on 2019.

"It was always going to be - the first engine [partner] change we've had in 13 years."

While the initial plan was for 2019 to be all about development and reliability rather than race wins, Verstappen carried the team as the 22-year-old finished third in the drivers' championship - better than both Ferraris.

"The partnership with Honda has worked tremendously well, from the first race, the podium in Melbourne," Horner continued.

"Reliability has been strong. We've only had one mechanical DNF this year - in Azerbaijan - and with each engine introduction, we've got closer and closer to the pace.

"This is really has been beyond expectation and in many respects, the relationship with Honda has been fantastic, the reliability, the performance increased with each engine."

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