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Hamilton: Verstappen's Honda-powered Australia success reminiscent of Senna

Hamilton: Verstappen's Honda-powered Australia success reminiscent of Senna

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Hamilton: Verstappen's Honda-powered Australia success reminiscent of Senna

Hamilton: Verstappen's Honda-powered Australia success reminiscent of Senna

Lewis Hamilton said Max Verstappen's impressive Australian Grand Prix powered by Honda put him in mind of his hero Ayrton Senna's many successes with the Japanese marque on-board his McLaren. Verstappen took third in Melbourne, Honda's first F1 podium in over a decade.

Having split the Ferrari pair Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc in qualifying, Red Bull star Verstappen closed down the ailing German and overtook him to secure third place, putting Honda back on the podium for the first time since the 2008 British GP.

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Verstappen ended the race on Hamilton's tail, but the Mercedes man had enough up his sleeve to secure a one-two for the Silver Arrows behind Valtteri Bottas.

And the reigning drivers' champion welcomed Red Bull's apparent step-up with Honda – whose greatest successes came in the back of McLarens driven by Senna and Alain Prost in the 1980s and 90s.

"It's great to see the improvement that it's had for the team," Hamilton said.

"They were with Renault for such a long time and he [Verstappen] was able to pass the Ferrari. It's awesome.

"The Red Bulls are there with us and I think we're going to have a really great battle through the year between the three of us.

"I remember growing up watching Ayrton drive the Honda [at McLaren] and they were a formidable force back then and it's great to see them back up there."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, often the fiercest critic of Renault in the past, saw plenty of reason for cheer after the first outing with Honda.

"They've given us a great product over the winter, the engine's delivering good power and it's been reliable," Horner told Sky Sports.

"To pass a Ferrari and to be racing wheel-to-wheel with them is really positive."

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