Lewis Hamilton is impressed by how much progress Red Bull Racing Honda has made in the 2019 F1 season.
After ending its long-standing relation with Renault, Red Bull signed up with Honda from 2019 onward along with sister team Toro Rosso. A lot was said about their decision considering Honda’s stint with McLaren.
But the decision stands in a good shape with two wins through Max Verstappen and five podiums in all along with one pole – a lot of firsts for the Japanese manufacturer in the V6 hybrid era.
The team is still behind Mercedes in terms of performance but has given them a good fight so far. It certainly looks in a better shape than Ferrari – at least at one side of the garage, with Verstappen ahead in the standings.
Such has been the run that Verstappen is only 69 points behind Hamilton in the drivers’ standings. Although the points gap is small considering the difference between Mercedes and Red Bull, but it could be interesting still.
Hamilton certainly believes Verstappen as a good threat along with Mercedes but they should be safe. The British racer is certainly impressed by the way Red Bull has progressed this year with Honda.
“It’s really fantastic to see Red Bull’s progress,” said Hamilton. “Obviously we’re in a period of time, particularly Hungaroring has been a track that they’ve always been particularly fast in, in previous years and it’s really awesome for Honda as well, to see their progression.
“They’ve got a lot of power in that engine. The Red Bull were quicker than us on a single lap at Hungaroring and we thought we were relatively level in the race but we were just able to keep up with them and match their times. I think it’s going to continue for the races to come.
“Even the faster circuits, the engine’s going to be great in Monza, so hopefully we’ll see this battle continue for the rest of the season. And, fingers crossed, Ferrari also will take a step back towards us at some point over the next races.”
In the constructors’ championship too, Red Bull is just behind by 40 points to Ferrari. Had Pierre Gasly scored more, it would have been more close but post summer break, it will be interesting to see how Alexander Albon goes.