At the 2019 Australian Grand Prix, history was made when Red Bull Honda’s Max Verstappen snatched third place. It was certainly a momentous occasion as it was the first podium for Honda ever since they returned to Formula One in 2015. It was also their first podium in the V6 Hybrid era.
One of the primary factors contributing to that maiden podium was teaming up with a top team like Red Bull. Interestingly, another Honda-powered car ended in 10th place, namely Toro Rosso. However, the progress achieved by the Honda power unit should not be discounted either.
According to reports from Japanese media house F1 Life, the RA619H spec 1 has already achieved output similar to last year’s Mercedes AMG. But, it has not made rapid progress in that field. Instead, the developments accumulated since early 2018 began to reap rewards when the Asaki Yasuaki system became solid.
Given what Red Bull have achieved in one race what McLaren couldn’t in 3 years, it makes one wonder, what did McLaren do wrong?. Whatever the case, the Austrian team are starting to establish themselves as a serious threat to Mercedes’ title hopes, or are they? It would be premature to judge Red Bull Honda on the basis of one race, but is it a sign of things to come? Is Honda the key to their renaissance?