Honda credits Red Bull environment for 2019 development
Red Bull’s decision to use Honda as their engine supplier may have surprised many in the early stages, but in current scheme of things, it seems proven to be the right choice for the outfit, especially with the results in the 2019 F1 season with wins and podiums.
Red Bull's junior team, Toro Rosso, have also had multiple podium finishes – albeit with a bit of luck – but even their straight-line pace has improved massively in recent times, as was proven in Brazil, when Gasly fought against Hamilton in a drag race on the last lap,
And, while their PU is still not excelling or beyond Mercedes and Ferrari,they are certainly on their way to be on top. Honda’s Masashi Yamamoto has credited the freedom in the working environment as one of the reasons for their success within F1 in 2019.
“Overall I think working with Red Bull and Toro Rosso, these two have been able to offer an environment which is very easy for Honda to work in,” said Yamamoto. “Just in the pure mutual objective of moving forward and winning in racing, I think the combination of these three parties/members is turning out to be very good.
“We get the feeling that we’re partnering with really good teams. If you look at the overall [results so far], Max has been on the podium seven times [along with couple of podims for Toro Roso], so I think its fair to say it has indeed been a good season overall for us.
Going into more details of some of the key moments in the 2019 F1 season, Honda highlighted the learning points and landmarks, which kicked-off in Australia with their first hybrid podium, then first win in Austria and first double team podium in Germany.
“From the first race our objective was to secure podium finish,” said Yamamoto. “To be honest there was so much hard work done by the Honda members to get to that stage, that that third position we got in Australia made me really happy.
“I think the takeaway [from Austria] was that we were finally able to see the potential of the Red Bull, Honda and Max combination, and that from that point onwards it really increased the motivation of the Honda mechanics and engineers.
“And then, of course having Max win at Germany was [also] big, but the fact that a Toro Rosso came in third and having the two teams on the podium, for Honda it showed that both team members grew in strength, and that things were progressing well.”
After the disaster with McLaren from 2014-2017, the Japanese manufacturer had a quiet run in 2018 which was much needed for all the improvements for this season. With stable rules in 2020, Honda are looking to make a three-way power unit battle.
[Note: This article was also written by me on Formula Rapida, and edited by Darshan Chokhani]