After the second double podium in a row for Red Bull, Honda is full of praise for the progress at the Austrian racing stable. Toyoharu Tanabe was sweating during a blood-curdling final phase between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, but is very happy with the final result.
After Turkey, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were also on the podium in the United States. As a result, Verstappen retains the lead in the drivers’ championship and Red Bull is catching up slightly on Mercedes with the constructors. Toyoharu Tanabe is very pleased with the strong result of the Austrian team.
“Max and Checo’s win on the podium is a fantastic result for Honda and Red Bull,” said the technical director of the Japanese engine manufacturer. In the final phase of the race it became tense after an early pit stop for Verstappen. “We had to get in early and in the end it was a blood-curdling final, in which Hamilton could almost pass him. Still, Max did a brilliant job by constantly managing his tires and speed.”
Perez’s result is also not entirely unimportant for Honda. “He was very fast all weekend. His second P3 finish in a row is hugely important for us in the Constructors’ Championship.” As a thank you to the Japanese engine maker, Honda F1 boss Masashi Yamamoto was allowed to attend the podium ceremony. “It was great to see him there, we really appreciate this gesture from Red Bull,” said Tanabe.
At sister team AlphaTauri, the Japanese saw a dropout for Pierre Gasly, but improvement for Yuki Tsunoda. “He had a good start and was able to drive in the points, and he also scored points for the first time since the Hungarian GP,” Tanabe continues. “I hope he keeps this momentum until the end of the season. Unfortunately, Pierre had to stop his race in the meantime due to a problem with his suspension.”
Looking ahead to the next race of the Formula 1 calendar, the Mexican Grand Prix, Tanabe sees the title battle between Red Bull and Mercedes intensifying. “There are only five races left and it will be a tough ride to the end of the season. Every race is very important and we do our best to score in every race.”