The Red Bull-Honda team has a good start. A beginning where the motorist will still develop its performances, to be searched above all in qualification
There is still a mole, the management of the qualification of Pierre Gasly, in the week end of this Red Bull in Australia. Choices that should have been different, to produce a result in the race even more positive than it was. Max Verstappen immediately centers the podium, obtained performance and with a very convincing pace.
Start the championship without losing contact from the mandatory favorites, get as much points as possible waiting to put themselves completely on the same level as Mercedes and Ferrari. Should the “winter plan” imagined by Verstappen look like this we can say he succeed. May be, the challenge to the title may not be a utopia. Melbourne is just the first step in a very long championship, started by Red Bull and Honda with the best conditions.
Of the top speed of those powered by an Honda, we have already told, the weekend in Australia also remains another data, the improvement obtained by Verstappen between Q2 and Q3. A progress of 3 tenths, less than the two Mercedes have succeeded, with a delta practically double compared to Red Bull, in fact aligned to the progress achieved by SF90 between the two sessions. It will be noted in the next big prizes this data, indirectly related to the extra potential that the power unit can express with an extreme mapping for a few kilometers in Q3. Something they could just dream last year.
Christian Horner can only draw a very positive initial budget:
I think we made it over the forecast, in the race. It has been a great day, we get a podium and Max has done a great job.
After a quiet start and a fast pit-stop, he extracted the utmost from the tires and pushed to pass Vettel first and put under pressure HamiltonChristian Horner Australian GP
The technical director Tanabe says:
It is a good first step, but we need to improve the performance of the power unit if we want to beat our immediate opponents.Overall it’s a good start but it’s not where we want to be
Max has managed to exploit the advantages of power unit today. It is really a demonstration of strength that has managed to wrestle wheel with Ferrari and pass Vettel.
We were stronger in the race than we thought would have been possible on Fridays. In the second part, it was also faster than the Mercedes, we start from a really strong base on which to progressTanabe Main director Red Bull Racing Team
The next two races are in favour of Red Bull. Bahrain, China for the verification of the chassis and aerodynamics of this RB15.
The step of Sakhir will be important to read again the data of reliability, with ambient temperatures that are expected higher. Before the start of the championship, Horner slowed down the hasty judgments: a couple of races, before ruling on the true competitiveness of Red Bull.
After the Australian Grand Prix, he added:
In Bahrain, we have a completely different track, it will be very interesting and we run with very different temperatures.
Melbourne is in some respects unique, we go there thinking all that Ferrari would dominate, however the Mercedes was stronger in qualifying. In the race not with the same scope but I have no idea how it will continueChristian Horner Red Bull Racing team principal
Verstappen: A very positive start
The third place caught in Melbourne by Max Verstappen, in addition to a short distance from the second come Hamilton, is remarkable from various points of view.
Meanwhile, confirms that Red Bull is always among the protagonists and therefore on the most favorable slopes will continue to be an “uncomfortable customer”.
Then he delivered to Honda the first podium since he entered the era of hybrid power units, most auspicious considering that it is the first race in collaboration with a leading team (theoretically it was also McLaren, but we know how it went…).
Moreover, it was the result of an excellent competition from the Dutch rider: Max did not risk more than it was necessary, as opposed to Leclerc, which nullified the possibility of overcoming it after a better shot.
Then he handled a linear tactic well, coming to attack those who stood before him. In the case of overtaking at Vettel, he has built well the conditions to make the most of the collaboration of DRS, carefully managing also the difficulty of sticking outside of turn 3, without falling into the temptation to close too much. Completing an exemplary action that made forget the next little oversight in turn 1, when he was going to take Hamilton also grabbing a momentary fast ride in the race.
I had to overcome Seb to get on the podium something not easy to do on this circuit.
I am glad I managed to do that maneuver, and I could also attack Lewis for second place: I could not, but I am still happy. It was an unfortunate episode that slight backtrack behind Hamilton, but I do not think the result would have changed.
We had a little advantage with the tires, but it was still satisfactory to press Lewis though not enough to overcome it.
One very happy day for the team and also for Honda: starting with a podium giving a twist to the Mercedes was a good start for us.
Since we started working together it was all great and I am really enjoying this collaboration, so it is a well deserved third place for all of us. The car worked very well and now we too are very strong on the straights, which hopefully is a good sign for the rest of the seasonMax Verstappen Australian GP