Verstappen: "Great for Honda, this is their first podium since 2008"


No doubt Daniel Ricciardo was already hurting after a disastrous Renault debut at the Australian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen proved Sunday there was genuine pace in the new Honda-powered Red Bull after finishing third in Australia, with the Dutchman "very pleased" at how his vehicle performed.

Such was his power that Verstappen was able to audaciously overtake Vettel midway through the race, before hounding Hamilton without finding a way past.

Verstappen's podium was the first for a Honda powered vehicle since the 2008 British Grand Prix. In a way, it could be seen as mirroring Verstappen's own move to Red Bull after one full season.

"I wonder if Red Bull made the right decision".

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner hadn't been expecting to beat the Ferraris in Melbourne.

All four Honda supplied cars finished the race, while Renault - who Red Bull severed ties with at the end of last season - suffered a suspected MGU-K failure on Carlos Sainz Jr's McLaren.

"It's got good power, it's been reliable. I'm really enjoying it so it's also well-deserved for them".

"Then after the pitsto, p we had fresher tyres and I managed to get by Seb, which is not easy around this track".

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"This a fantastic injection from them (Honda)".

Max Verstappen, on the other hand, looks ready to fight for the World Championship, and his performance today proved he can hang with the two Mercedes drivers even though he had to be content with just a podium position.

"To be able to challenge Lewis at the end of the race and overtake Seb on-track, which around here is very hard, is very positive. To do that at this venue is really encouraging for us", Horner said.

"Great day for us", he said when speaking to Sky Sports F1.

Pierre Gasly needs to look good alongside Max Verstappen in 2019.

"I'm very happy to be third here and also very happy first of all for the team but also for Honda".

"I guess time will tell if we can fight for top spot (on the podium)".

In another dagger for Ricciardo, Verstappen said he did not feel any different without his Australian teammate by his side at the season opener. "So no", he said.

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