Honda targets summer win

25/03/2019
NEWS STORY

Buoyed by its success in Australia, which saw a Honda-powered driver stand on the podium for the first time since Silverstone 2008, the Japanese manufacturer is now targeting its first top step as it eyes a win, possibly as early as the summer.

"This is a very important year for us because we've started with two teams for the first time in the hybrid era, Honda F1 MD Masashi Yamamoto told Motorsport.com. "Now we have a situation that we can try to express how Honda tries to win.

"We hope to make it come true, maybe by around the summer," he admitted. "Hopefully, we wish to. We have now a chance to show our philosophy towards winning.

"We're not trying to make the expectation low," he continued, Honda, like Renault this year, refusing to set (public) targets. "But racing is the result, what matters is the result. We can see everything in the result. We have to pile up the technology and performance towards the race.

"Our honest feeling is that we haven't reached the level of Ferrari and Mercedes as a PU," he admitted. "We have to go beyond."

Of course, other than Max Verstappen's drive to third in Melbourne, Daniil Kvyat finished tenth in the Honda-powered Toro Rosso, the Faenza team in its second season with the Japanese manufacturer.

While Red Bull is clearly the priority, Yamamoto admits that Honda wants to help its sister team move up the grid.

"We have a different aim between the two teams," he said. "In terms of Red Bull, they are a top team: good drivers, management and chassis. So we have to make a good engine as Honda. If we can do that, we think we can walk the path towards winning with Red Bull. That's what we have to do.

"In terms of Toro Rosso, we have established a relationship last year. We think we are on the way of improving. Something like a podium, or closer to those positions with Toro Rosso, we can show our progress.

"Each team we have a different direction or target."

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Published: 25/03/2019
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