Sports

Mixed fortunes for Red Bull Racing in Australian Grand Prix

Mixed fortunes for Red Bull Racing in Australian Grand Prix

Having suffered a disappointing retirement in his home race at Melbourne, things haven't gone according to plan for the former Red Bull driver, but hopes are still high that come the end of the season, Renault could buck up and challenge the top three teams. It was his sixth consecutive F1 podium finish, and delivered automaker Honda its first since 2008. To put Lewis under pressure for pretty much 50 percent of the grand prix - I thought we had the quicker vehicle than him, certainly in the second half - at this venue is really encouraging for us.

"In general, the vehicle felt alright with medium and soft tyres but we still need to fully understand the compounds", said Verstappen. "My running was also a little different to the others in terms of preparation and there is definitely some lap time in that".

"Of course, I think there's still work to do, but to start the season like this in third and also the first podium for Honda in the V6 era, it's a great start".

With plenty of focus on Red Bull Racing's new partnership with Honda, Verstappen finished Free Practice 1 for the 2019 Australian Grand Prix an encouraging fourth, less than two tenths-of-a-second adrift of pace-setter Lewis Hamilton.

"Max put in a remarkable performance today, and after a decent start and one of the day's fastest pit stops, he was able to take advantage of the C3 tyre and make a great pass on Sebastian".

"To put Lewis under pressure for pretty much 50 percent of the grand prix, we looked like we had a quicker vehicle than him, certainly in the second half".

1:29                                            Max Verstappen talks to Sky F1 about his podium-finishing drive to third place
1:29 Max Verstappen talks to Sky F1 about his podium-finishing drive to third place

"For us to get a podium first race with a new power unit is a dream start", said Christian Horner.

Verstappen predicted a bright future for Red Bull in 2019 with Honda now in their corner.

In another dagger for Ricciardo, Verstappen said he did not feel any different without his Australian teammate by his side at the season opener.

And Verstappen is determined to improve on his result there, too, after failing to finish that race in 2018.

"The engine has been performing very well without any issues so that's also really important".

He went on to post two GP victories - in Austria and Mexico - and finish off the season with five straight podium finishes, and seven in the last nine races to place fourth in the drivers' standings. I guess time will tell if we can fight for top spot.

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