The Spanish Grand Prix yielded the second podium of our partnership with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and three of the four Honda-powered cars scored points in Barcelona.
Starting from fourth on the grid, Max pulled a brilliant move around the outside of Sebastian Vettel at Turn 3 on the opening lap to move up to third, and an aggressive two-stop strategy saw him switch to another set of new soft tyres early on before fitting mediums later in the race.
In the second stint, Max stayed close to Valtteri Bottas and had his sights set on fighting for second place until a late Safety Car - just after his second stop - allowed others to pit for fresh tyres and bunched up the pack. Defending from Vettel initially, Max chased Bottas to the flag to secure his second podium of the season.
Pierre also delivered a strong drive to ensure both Red Bulls finished in the top six. In contrast to Max, Pierre switched to medium tyres for the second stint and then softs during the Safety Car, allowing him to attack Charles Leclerc for fifth on the race restart.
Having failed to make a pass, an excellent bit of defending against Kevin Magnussen kept the Haas at bay and secured sixth place. Toro Rosso also scored points for the fourth time in five races, with Daniil picking up two points in ninth.
Starting from that same position, Daniil was having a strong race chasing down the two Haas cars - getting ahead of Magnussen - but lost out under the Safety Car and dropped to tenth before a good move on Romain Grosjean late in the race moved him back up.
Alex came agonisingly close to making it points for all four cars, having also been running in the top ten before the Safety Car. With so many drivers pitting during that period, Alex dropped out of the points and spent the final few laps attacking Grosjean for tenth but was unable to find a way through.
Toyoharu Tanabe, Technical Director, Honda Racing F1
"It was satisfying to get our second podium finish of the season in the race where teams brought updates. An excellent start from Max saw him move immediately up to third and he showed very strong and consistent pace throughout the race. With Pierre sixth behind the two Ferraris, it means Aston Martin Red Bull Racing had a very good race, which is positive. For a while it looked as though we might get all four of our cars into the points, but in the end, we just missed out on that, which was a shame. In both qualifying and the race, the gap to Mercedes is still clear to see. Now we must simply carry on working as hard as possible with the aim of getting even better results in the coming races, maintaining the momentum we had here."
"I’m trying to maximise everything I have and I’m happy with today’s result. We’re P3 again which is pretty representative of our pace at the moment, and it’s great to score more good points. I knew we had a good chance in the race to fight with Ferrari and that’s what we did. At the start it was quite hectic with three cars going into one corner, so I decided to back out of it, but actually in the end I had a good line out of Turn 2 into Turn 3. To take P3 in that corner was very crucial as from there on I could do my own pace and strategy, which worked out well. The Mercedes cars were out of reach, but we were very consistent and we’re of course happy to be on the podium. Everybody is very motivated to close the gap and we will try a few things in the test next week that can give us a better direction in which way to work."
"The first stint was ok but towards the end I started to struggle with grip and degradation. We had a lot of rubber debris in the front wing which meant I was sliding around so the pace just dropped from the second stint onwards. I tried to push as much as I could but I couldn’t keep up with the Ferraris in front of me. At the Safety Car restart, I tried a move on Charles but I couldn’t make it stick. It was a pretty good fight and I think at the start we actually touched in Turn 3. In the end, it’s good to score some points. We have the test coming up on Tuesday so we can try some more things and keep pushing. Looking forwards, I think we have good potential on some of the upcoming tracks which should suit our car better."
"There were a few exciting moments today, but unfortunately, we lost our race in the pit lane as the tyres weren’t ready for me. It was a very last-minute call to pit, these things happen with such tricky situations, and I’m sure we will learn from this as a team. I think we could have finished in P7 as that’s where we were running before the pit lane mishap. We still got a couple of points today which is always welcome. The car’s performance is improving and I’m feeling always more comfortable with the car. I’m sure we have some good days ahead."
"It was disappointing to be so close to points and come away with nothing, but it was good fun racing with Romain. I had to back out of it because I thought I might have had an incident when we both decided to go right at the same time. I had to hit the brakes and lost the momentum into Turn 1, I think if it wasn’t for that I would have got passed. The race was lost for us in the pit stop, so we need to review what happened because we should have had two cars in the top 10. It’s a frustrating one, but I’m happy with my performance and I’m looking forward to fighting for points again in Monaco."