Max Verstappen reminds Honda of a young Ayrton Senna, according to the Japanese manufacturer's F1 managing director Masashi Yamamoto.
With Red Bull having ditched Renault for Honda's supply, Verstappen secured career-high totals for race wins, poles and points in 2019 as he broke into the top three of the drivers' championship for the first time.
A marked difference could be seen between the Red Bull-Renault relationship and discussions between Milton Keynes and Sakura, with Christian Horner saying that Honda had kept all promises regarding upgrade packages, as the French brand had not done previously.
Senna famously operated in arms with Honda when they supplied McLaren's mighty outfit in the late 1980s and early 1990s and Yamamoto sees similarities between their relationship with the Brazilian icon and Verstappen.
Yamamoto told Motorsport.com: "As Honda, we see him as a very important factor with Honda's project.
"He's young, but his driving is really impressive. It looks like seeing a young Senna, with his relationship with Honda.
"Max maybe pays respect to Honda. He feels Honda is familiar. And then probably the badge he showed on the podium in Austria proved that he was very happy as well.
"This gives us an emotion that we want to provide a good engine for him. Of course, all the four drivers are very important for us.
"The passion we showed towards winning made the relationship stronger with him. He also has been to the F1 R&D centre and our mass production site.
"There's many, many people and he has actually seen it. He went through a tunnel of people getting high fives, like one kilometre long!
"That kind of thing maybe gave him a stronger impression about Honda, and a stronger commitment to Honda."
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