Red Bull may not have claimed victory, but Honda are still pleased with the outcome of the Turkish Grand Prix.
Mercedes proved to have the upper hand on their title rivals all weekend at Istanbul Park, locking out the front row in qualifying and comfortably winning the race courtesy of Valtteri Bottas.
Given their inferior machinery, the best that Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez could do was finish in P2 and P3, but with Lewis Hamilton recovering to take P5, Red Bull still lost ground to the German team in the Constructors’ Championship.
Even so, Honda’s technical director, Toyoharu Tanabe, is pleased with the result and thinks it will be an important one in the context of the title fights.
“It was nice to see both Red Bull Racing Honda drivers on the podium in their special livery race suits,” said Tanabe.
“Of course we always want to win, but given how quick Mercedes were all weekend, we got the most out of our package and ended up with a good result.
“Max drove brilliantly as usual to finish where he started and Checo showed his tyre management skills, overtaking those ahead of him to finish on the podium thanks to a very good performance.
“This result was very important for the title fight from now to the end of the season.”
— Honda Racing F1 (@HondaRacingF1) October 10, 2021
The race at Istanbul Park replaced Honda’s home race, the Japanese Grand Prix, on the calendar, with the one at Suzuka being called off due to the pandemic.
Before the race weekend, Tanabe admitted that he and his colleagues were disappointed about that, but says it provided Red Bull and AlphaTauri, who both ran special Honda designs on their cars, with extra motivation.
“This was originally meant to be the Japanese Grand Prix weekend and so both our teams were very motivated,” he added.
“We hope that our Japanese fans enjoyed seeing Honda-powered cars finish with a double podium and three drivers in the top six. It was a very good result.
“There are now just six races to go, split between the Americas and the Middle East and we will keep pushing to do our best and end the year on a high.”
Red Bull got the Perez they need in Turkey
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