Honda back to winning F1 races after Austrian GP cliffhanger

The last time a Honda powered race car won a Formula 1 race was back in 2006, in the hands of Jenson Button who notched his own maiden win in a rain-soaked Hungarian GP. It has been slim pickings since, but Red Bull Racing eventually delivered in fitting fashion 13 years later.

Red Bull Racing chief Christian Horner celebrating with Toyoharu Tanabe, technical director of Honda F1.

Despite starting from the front row, Max Verstappen found himself in eighth place after bogging down at the start, but he soon fought back up the order as the RB15 made better use of its tyres compared to rivals on a scorching hot track. Still, a win looked unlikely as Ferrari’s LeClerc seemingly controlled the pace upfront.

After passing Vettel and Bottas to assume second, Verstappen made his overtaking move on LeClerc stick on turn 3 of lap 69 (out of 71), but not before banging wheels with the latter and causing a nervy post-race investigation by the stewards which kept the final results in limbo some three hours after the race concluded. It was eventually deemed a ‘racing incident’ and Honda’s comeback was cemented.

Your view of the incident may differ depending on your allegiance, but for neutrals and casual observers bored stiff by Mercedes-AMG’s dominance, the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix would have restored your faith in Formula 1 by no small measure.


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