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There were points for three of the four Honda-powered cars in the Belgian Grand Prix

There were points for three of the four Honda-powered cars in the Belgian Grand Prix

01.09.2019: Honda F1 Belgian Grand-Prix Race review Following the events of Saturday at Spa-Francorchamps, the Formula 1 grid stopped for a moment of silence to remember Anthoine Hubert, before the race, with both Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso

Honda F1 Belgian Grand-Prix Race review




Following the events of Saturday at Spa-Francorchamps, the Formula 1 grid stopped for a moment of silence to remember Anthoine Hubert, before the race, with both Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso cars carrying stickers reading ‘Racing for Anthoine’.



Unfortunately, Max’s race did not last long as he was involved in contact with Kimi Raikkonen at the first corner and suffered damage that saw him crash soon afterwards, retiring from the race. That left Alex as the lone Red Bull and he produced an excellent recovery drive after starting from 17th. Alex started on the medium compound tyre to run a long first stint and overtook a number of drivers as he rose into the top ten.



After pitting on lap 23 for new soft tyres, Alex pulled some strong moves including a stunning overtake around the outside of Daniel Ricciardo to move into eighth. In the closing laps, Alex passed Daniil using DRS and then similarly overtook Sergio Perez with a brave move - dropping two wheels on the grass - on the final lap to take fifth place on his Red Bull debut. Daniil followed a very similar strategy from 19th on the grid, using mediums first and then switching to soft tyres on lap 24. A great start saw him running inside the top ten within 13 laps and he remained in the points throughout, finishing seventh to score six points.



All three cars that finished the race picked up points as Pierre marked his return to Toro Rosso with ninth place. A strong opening stint saw Pierre rise from 13th on the grid to eighth place, but after pitting on lap 13 for medium types he had to run over 30 laps to the finish and faded slightly but did well to hold off Lance Stroll to score two points.
 
 
 

Toyoharu Tanabe
Technical Director, Honda Racing F1   


"It was unfortunate to lose Max so early in the race, as the best placed of our four drivers, being fifth on the grid. However, all three other drivers, despite starting from the back half, managed to finish in the points today. Therefore in the end, this can be considered a positive result for both our teams.



 Alex did particularly well in his first race with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, going from 17th on the grid to fifth, delivering a very strong drive. Both the Toro Rosso cars showed a good pace and the fights involving our own drivers were particularly exciting! On the PU side, the Spec 4 we introduced for the first time this weekend, matched our expectations and we acquired plenty of data to analyse for future use."
 
 



Christian Horner
Team Principal of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing   


"I’ve been very impressed with Alex’s performance all weekend and he put in a great recovery drive from 17th on the grid to finish fifth in his first race with us. He was pretty cautious during the first half of the race as he felt his way into the Grand Prix, but things started to come alive for him on the softer compound tyre and he put in some great overtakes. Max didn’t have a great start which meant he got boxed in at Turn 1 in the middle of the pack. He made contact with Kimi mid-corner which resulted in a broken front track rod, ending his race.



 It was a frustrating racing incident but Max has completed over 20 consecutive races in the top five now and it’s just unfortunate that run ended at his home race. It’s been a difficult 24 hours for the whole community and everyone raced with a heavy heart. Congratulations to Charles Leclerc, he drove a great race and it seems quite fitting that a close friend of Anthoine’s won here today.""
 
 


Franz Tost
Team Principal of Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda   




"Our starting positions were not as good as we expected but I must say it was a very interesting race for us. We had Daniil starting from P19 because of his PU change, and Pierre starting from P13. We decided to split the strategies and have Pierre on the Option tyre and Daniil on the Prime for the start of the race. We were quite lucky in the first corner to avoid the incident between Verstappen and Raikkonen, which meant after the first lap Pierre moved to P9 and Daniil to P11.



In the first stint we didn’t run into any major problems, and when Renault called Hulkenberg in, we reacted and brought Pierre in as well to switch from the Option to the Prime. He drove a really good race after that, although towards the end, the tyres lost a bit of performance. Consequently, we switched the drivers’ positions as Daniil had fresher tyres and was therefore faster. He made a nice overtake on Ricciardo which saw him finish the race in seventh position. Even if with very used tyres, Pierre was also able to finish in the points securing 9th position.



 We take away eight points for the team today, which helps us consolidating 5th position in the Constructors’ Championship. It was a fantastic race from the drivers and a really good job from the team, both from the strategy and the operational side. Now we’re looking forward to racing at in Monza, our home Grand Prix."
 
 


Pierre Gasly
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda    Race : 9th


"This was the most emotional race of my career, it was important for me to deliver the best performance I could for Anthoine. In the end it was a good result and I’m happy to get two points on my first race back with Toro Rosso. We knew it was going to be a tough race and we really went for it. We had an aggressive strategy pitting early, and we knew we would have to fight a lot on the second part of the race against the other guys on the softer compound.



I gave it my best in attacking and defending, we had some good close racing and I’m really happy to score these two points, for the team and for Anthoine. I’ve discovered quite a few more things about the car during the race, it’s quite different to the Red Bull one, and lap after lap I could feel it getting better so I’m sure there will be more to come in the upcoming races."
 
 


Daniil Kvyat
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda    Race : 7th


"We had a fantastic race today, to come from last on the grid to P7 was a great result. We knew that with the cooler conditions it would be much better for our car, and actually we made a very big step in the race. Our car seems to perform better on Sundays this year, which I prefer - it’s where you need to be the fastest.



 We had many overtakes, good tyre management, a great strategy, and today we also had the pace to be competitive. We put everything together and I’m really happy with my racing and the final result. It was a lot of fun."
 



 
Alexander Albon
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing    Race : 5th



"I’m very happy. P5 is an amazing result and we’ve got off to a great start. I had some good fun out there and I enjoyed this race a lot. I started off the weekend very nervous and if you had told me I’d finish the race fifth I’d be very happy, but I’m a bit more relaxed now. It was actually a difficult race and in the first stint I struggled with grip in the dirty air and couldn’t overtake anyone.



But then once we pitted for the soft tyres, the car came alive and I was like - now we can do something! The last lap was really good, I had a good fight with Sergio where we were both on the grass and it made for some good racing. There are definitely some areas I need to improve on and over the next few days I’ll get my head down, do some homework and address them for Monza. I will sit down with the Team and understand why I struggled at the start, but I am still finding out the car’s little tricks and adapting to it.



I didn’t really feel too much pressure coming into the weekend, I think the media thought I was going to, but I’ve enjoyed my week with the Team. It’s been a good experience and a different way of working. Last night was very tough, us rookies knew Anthoine very well, so it’s been a stressful few hours and this morning felt strange. When you know a person and when they’re at the race track, it’s a very difficult atmosphere, so we dedicate this race to him."
 



 
Max Verstappen
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing    Race : NC




"It was of course not a great end to the weekend but it’s not the worst thing that can happen in life as we have seen yesterday, so I cannot really call this frustration. I got a poor start, the reaction was not great and then I got wheel spin when I released the clutch. I tried to stay on the inside into Turn 1 but I think Kimi expected to be fully ahead of me and just followed his line.



I don’t think you can blame anyone and I guess he just didn’t see me, once I was next to him and he was turning then we couldn’t back out. We touched, my track rod was broken so I went straight on into the barrier at Eau Rouge and the race was over. These things happen, it’s very unfortunate for the Team and we will of course try and do better next week."
 
 


 

- Honda - photos Red Bull

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01.09.2019 / MaP

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