Honda react to Red Bull’s Austin podium gesture

Date published: October 26 2021 - Jon Wilde

Sergio Perez and Masashi Yamamoto on the podium after the US Grand Prix. Austin October 2021.

Honda have expressed their gratitude to Red Bull after two races with special liveries in their honour both resulted in double podium finishes.

At the Turkish Grand Prix, a one-off white and red colour scheme was used on the RB16B on the weekend when the Japanese GP should have taken place, with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez – wearing race suits that matched their cars – finishing second and third respectively.

For the United States Grand Prix, Red Bull reverted to their traditional dark blue base colour but the rear wing was adorned with Acura branding – likewise those of ‘sister’ team AlphaTauri – to represent Honda’s luxury vehicle division which was initially launched in North America.

That race proved even more successful, with Verstappen winning to extend his Drivers’ World Championship lead to 12 points and Perez again filling third spot.

Due to leave the sport at the end of the season, Honda are hoping to bow out with at least one title in the bag and were thankful that their F1 managing director, Masashi Yamamoto, was given the chance to collect the winning constructor’s trophy in Austin.

“Max winning from pole and Checo joining him on the podium in third place is a great result for Honda and for Red Bull Racing,” said the Japanese company’s F1 technical director, Toyoharu Tanabe, in Honda’s review of the race.

“It is our second consecutive double podium and both were achieved with special liveries, the ‘Honda fans’ white cars in Turkey and here with the Acura brand replacing Honda on all four cars.

“It was great to see Yamamoto-san collect the trophy on the podium and we really appreciate this gesture from Red Bull.”

Tanabe was understandably also pleased to see an encouraging performance from his compatriot Yuki Tsunoda, who finished ninth for AlphaTauri in Austin to score his first points since the summer break on a day when his team-mate Pierre Gasly had to retire after only 15 laps.

 

“Yuki had a great start, passing two cars, and after that he drove very well to bring home the points for ninth place,” said Tanabe.

“It was his second consecutive Q3 appearance and first points since Hungary, so we hope he maintains this momentum to the end of the season.

“It was a shame Pierre, also quick this weekend, had to retire with a suspension problem.

“Next comes another special grand prix as it is Checo’s home race in Mexico. There are only five more races to go, but this will be a long and tough run to the end of the season in which each race matters very much and we plan to do our best in all of them.”