Honda: Happy to have three of in the points

The second consecutive race at the Red Bull Ring yielded a podium for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing as we secured points with three of the four Honda-powered cars.

Max Verstappen lined up second on the grid with Alex in sixth, and the positions remained unchanged off the line but Alex soon found his way past Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz to run fourth.

Max kept Lewis Hamilton in sight for most of the first stint, but then Red Bull opted to pit earlier than the two Mercedes cars on lap 24 to cover off the undercut from Valtteri Bottas behind.

Both Red Bulls started on the soft compound tyre an Alex Albon ran longer in his first stint, pitting on lap 36 and settling into fourth place for the second part of the race while being wary of Sergio Perez climbing through the field behind him.

Pierre Gasly made a good start from seventh and ran in the top ten before pitting for hard tyres on the same lap Max came in, but he then struggled in the second part of the race and needed a second pit stop that took him out of contention for points.

The two Scuderia AlphaTauris were closely-matched as Daniil Kvyat also ran longer and matched Alex’s pit strategy, coming in on lap 36 for hards.

As the race wore on, Max picked up some front wing damage and he was left susceptible to attack from Bottas, pulling off a brilliant overtaking move around the outside of Turn 4 to re-take second place after dropping behind due to DRS on lap 66, but when the Finn attacked a lap later, this time Max had no answer.

Max came home third while Alex defended well from Perez despite the Racing Point sitting within DRS range for much of the final spell of the race. A clumsy attempt to pass from Perez saw slight contact but Alex continued to secure fourth and a total of 27 points for Red Bull.

Daniil made it three Honda-powered cars in the top ten with tenth place and the final point, ensuring all four of our drivers leave Austria with points on the board from the opening two races.

Toyoharu Tanabe, Technical Director, Honda Racing F1: “Today, we had the second race in the space of a week at the Red Bull Ring and we are pleased that Max was able to get his and the team’s first podium finish of the season.

“After the difficulties we experienced a week ago, with the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing cars, we worked closely with the team to investigate the cause of their retirements and we were able to take countermeasures to deal with the different issues.

“We also worked on improving on the performance side. As a result, we saw all four Honda-powered cars completing the race, three of them in the points, as Alex went from 7th to 4th, and Daniil finished tenth.

“Pierre did very well in qualifying and showed good pace early on, but after contact with another car he sustained some damage. I am sure he will fight back next weekend, when we face a third consecutive race, but at the Hungaroring this time. The forecast is for very hot weather, so part of our preparations will be to pay close attention to cooling.”