Gasly Leads Pair of Top-Five Finishes For Honda In Britain

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing's duo of Pierre Gasly and Max Verstappen continued piling up points in the Formula 1 World Championship standings Sunday as they each earned top-five finishes in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Max Verstappen (front) looks to hold off the pack on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix on Sunday. Verstappen went on to finish fifth.

Gasly posted his best result of the 2019 campaign and matched a career high with a fourth-place run while Verstappen had a likely podium finish knocked away after late-race contact with Sebastian Vettel. Meanwhile the Toro Rosso Hondas ran in and around the top 10 for most of the day with Daniil Kvyat ending up in ninth while a power issue dropped Alex Albon to 12th in the waning laps.

Verstappen had the rare opportunity to show not only the power, but the physical strength of the Honda-powered Red Bull machine after being hit from behind. The Dutchman had just executed a pass of Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari heading into the Stowe corner, wrestling third place from the former series champion with 15 laps to go. But Vettel was unable to slow and punted Verstappen, sending the Red Bull car bouncing and spinning through the gravel.

Undaunted, Verstappen was able to keep the car running and got back on track ahead of the rest of the pack and went on to salvage a fifth-place finish. That rebound, paired with a non-points finish for Vettel, extended Verstappen’s gap over Vettel to 13 points in the race for third in the championship standings as the season nears its halfway point.

The Red Bull Toro Rosso Hondas showed improvement as Albon started a career-high ninth and ran in the top 10 for much of the day. Kvyat climbed through the field after starting 17th and appeared set to put all four Hondas in the points as he vaulted to ninth just ahead of his teammate. But Albon fell out of the points in the waning laps as he was unable to pit for some much-needed tires, owing to a voltage issue in the Toro Rosso car that made it potentially unsafe to touch – negating the ability to pit and dropping the rookie to 12th.

The teams will have a week off before heading across the English Channel for the July 26-28 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Technical Director, Honda F1
“It is very disappointing to have lost what looked like a certain podium finish with Max because of the accident, when he was running so strongly. On the positive side, Pierre has had his best race weekend of the year, equaling his career best fourth place to date. We hope to see him challenge for the podium in the coming races. At Toro Rosso, thanks to strong pace and a good strategy, Daniil went from 17th to finish in the points. Unfortunately, Alex dropped out of the points in the closing stages, as he was unable to make the second tire stop that he needed. This was PU-related, as the data showed a high voltage issue, so we told the team it was inadvisable to make a second stop on safety grounds. Of course, we will now analyze this issue very carefully.”

Max Verstappen
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Start 4th, Finish: 5th
“It’s a shame for everyone in the Team to lose a podium here as the car felt very good and we were so quick in the race. The battles with Charles (LeClerc) were hard but fair and he was defending really well. I didn’t want to risk too much as the race was still very long and we were clearly faster, so it was just a matter of choosing the right time and it was great fun. The Team made a really good call with the second pit stop to put me on the hard tire so we had that advantage over Charles. I then had really strong pace and caught Seb, I passed him and defended into Turn 17 but Seb out braked himself and hit me from behind. I ended up bumping over the curbs and the gravel and I thought the race was over. I honestly don’t know how I brought the car to the finish as it felt like the power steering failed and the floor was damaged, so I’m actually happy to finish fifth and score some points. I’m not angry but disappointed as it was hard racing and Seb didn’t do it on purpose. He also apologized as soon as I got out of the car which I respect. I think we put on a pretty good show for the fans today and proved the sport is far from boring.”

Pierre Gasly
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Start: 5th, Finish: 4th
“This whole weekend has been strong from Friday to Sunday, with today being my best Sunday of the year. We’re fighting with the guys at the front which is where we should be and I’m really happy with fourth today. Of course as a competitive guy I’m disappointed not to get on the podium as it was so close but we’ve made a big step this weekend and we’re working in the right direction. I had some good battles with Seb and Charles and there was quite a lot of action throughout the race. I still need to work on the little details to improve and make the last step on to the podium, but overall we are not too far away and we will keep pushing. If we can have this kind of Sunday every weekend then things should be exciting.”

Daniil Kvyat
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Start: 17th, Finish: 9th 
“I’m very happy with the race today. To be honest, I didn’t have too many expectations today starting from the back of the grid. All weekend I didn’t really get into the rhythm and I was struggling a bit with the balance, but when it mattered most today I managed to extract everything from the car. We found a few improvements yesterday with the setup direction and I think we managed to correct it and I just clicked with the car. I had a good battle with Kimi (Raikkonen) at the end for P8, which was fun, but I didn’t have enough laps in the end to make a move. It’s good to get two more points on the board and it was important to bounce back after the past couple of races.”

Alex Albon
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Start: 9th (Career Best), Finish: 12th  
“It wasn’t an easy race for me managing the tires. When the safety car came out some drivers got lucky, others didn’t. We had an issue with the car where we couldn’t pit or touch the car, so we had to stay out while others around us pitted. It was a frustrating race, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”