Red Bull hope upgrade delivers Suzuka win for Honda
Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko says the team are targeting victory at the Japanese Grand Prix as the perfect way to cap a first season in collaboration with Honda.
Max Verstappen has delivered Honda's first podium, pole position and race win for many years this season, with fears that a switch from Renault could put paid to Red Bull's competitiveness firmly put to rest across the season.
Red Bull are further off the top of the constructors' standings than they were a year ago, but the team have routinely held their hands up over a sluggish start, while Pierre Gasly's early-season struggles are also an influence.
And with another crucial upgrade arriving ahead of Suzuka, Marko is hoping for a big crescendo to the opening year of the partnership.
"We had some minor problems with the chassis on our side, so we weren't at the level we wanted to be at," Marko told Motorsport.com.
"But we have further developed the car and the Honda engine has also been given more power step by step. They have delivered what they had promised us.
"We were driving with a new engine in Singapore and we are getting a new fuel for Suzuka.
"It is definitely the goal to win in Japan.
"Our first goal was to win races and a win at Suzuka would of course be the top. It is a circuit that suits Max well and it is the home race of Honda, so what could be better than that?"
Verstappen has been on the podium in all three previous trips to Suzuka with Red Bull, although the race has been won by Mercedes every year of the V6 Hybrid era thus far.
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