Honda’s first double podium for twenty-seven years makes for “unforgettable race” – Masamitsu Motohashi

by Craig Venn

As Scuderia Toro Rosso continue to celebrate Daniil Kvyat‘s sensational podium in the 2019 German Grand Prix, the team’s chief Honda engineer, Masamitsu Motohashi, has explained what the result means to Honda and Toro Rosso.

Honda came under a lot of criticism when they returned to Formula 1 as an engine provider with the McLaren F1 Team in 2015, most notably from the team’s frustrated Fernando Alonso as the Japanese manufacturer’s power unit fell well short of expectations.

Honda and McLaren parted ways at the end of 2018 with the former teaming up with Toro Rosso, and for 2019 Red Bull Racing too.

Honda have now won two of the last three races, courtesy of Max Verstappen‘s victories in Austria and Germany where he was joined on the podium by Kvyat.

It was the first time two Honda powered cars had featured on the podium since the Portuguese Grand Prix of 1992 and the first for two different Honda powered teams since 1988.

Kyvat’s third in Germany was backed up by a brilliant sixth place finish for team-mate Alexander Albon who finished sixth in his first rain affected race. Motohashi has called it “an unforgettable race.”

“To see Daniil on the podium was an incredible feeling coming after we have worked so hard with Toro Rosso for one and a half seasons,” said Motohashi.

“In recent races, we have struggled a bit and even today it was a difficult race for us. However, everything came together today.

“Last year our best result was a fourth place [Pierre Gasly, Bahrain], even if we came close to getting good results in some other races too, which for one reason or another did not happen. 

“Today, we feel we did the best we possibly could. This was an unforgettable race – the team, drivers and all Honda members working so well together. I would also like to thank our fans, especially those in Japan, who have never given up on us. Today’s result is for them also.”

Heading into the second half of the 2019 Formula 1 season, three Honda powered cars sit within the top ten of the drivers’ standings, with Verstappen, Gasly and Kvyat, third, sixth and eighth respectively.

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