Red Bull boss Christian Horner has revealed that Honda have “exceeded” the expectations of the contructor team since they partnered up ahead of the 2019 F1 season.
In 2018, Red Bull’s engines were provided by Renault, while Honda powered McLaren, but both of those deals were terminated after that season.
So far, Red Bull-Honda has been a success, with them collecting two podium positions and one race victory in 2019, with Max Verstappen emerging victorious at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Horner thinks it is going better than was predicted.
“This season was always going to be a transitionary year, with a new engine partner coming on stream and the whole marriage and integration that is involved,” said the Red Bull team principal.
“That has exceeded internal expectations, in terms of by race nine we have a win and we have had a couple of podiums.”
On that occasion at the Red Bull Ring when Verstappen won, Honda management were in attendance, with catalysed emotional scenes from the engineers who had suffered through unsuccessful recent years with McLaren.
“It was a very emotive win for Honda in Austria,” Horner continued.
“Some of their board members were there and they are starting to see, after all those painful years with McLaren, that the investment is paying off.
“Reliability has been strong – we still have all three engines available to use (per driver). They have only introduced new engines based on performance increments.
“We’re pushing for more in the second half of the year, which they have in the pipeline. Now they have tasted success and they see the benefit that success brings. After the difficulty of their reintroduction back into F1, the victory was the tonic they needed.”
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