Honda’s Tanabe hails ‘extra special’ German GP result

by Harry Slade
Daniil Kvyat

Honda F1 Technical Director, Toyoharu Tanabe has hailed the supreme result that the Japanese marque claimed at last Sunday’s German Grand Prix that saw the Sakura-based manufacture claim a second victory of the season.

Honda, who historically took their first win since their return to the sport in 2015 at last month’s Austrian Grand Prix, made it two in three races at the rain-soaked Hockenheimring circuit as Max Verstappen managed to survive the mixed conditions to claim a fabled victory.

That wasn’t the only success for Honda – as Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda returned to the podium with Daniil Kvyat in a seasonal best finish of third place. Therefore, allowing Honda to claim their first double-podium of the 21st century.

Tanabe was rightfully pleased with Honda’s best result of the turbo-hybrid era, describing it as “extra special”.

“An absolutely fantastic result, securing our second win of the year with Max Verstappen, but this time extra special, with Daniil Kvyat making it two Honda drivers on the podium,” said Tanabe

He also praised the strategy of the respective Honda-powered teams, the pitcrews as well as Kvyat and Verstappen in particular for not making the errors that curtailed their rivals challenges such as Charles Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Tanabe stated, “An absolutely fantastic result, securing our second win of the year with Max Verstappen, but this time extra special, with Daniil Kvyat making it two Honda drivers on the podium.

It was a very difficult race, because of the changing conditions between wet and dry and the result is down to the excellent drives from both drivers, spot on strategies from the two teams and great work from both pit crews. Honda really appreciates their efforts.”

He then returned to the feel-good sporting story that came out of the German Grand Prix weekend; the podium scored by Kvyat. The Russian, who opted to follow in the footsteps of Lance Stroll in switching to the slick tyres, utilised the strategy call to rocket up the order and rise as high as second before eventually falling to a still remarkable third.

Tanabe praised the Faenza outfit for their work in returning Honda to the pinnacle of Formula 1 and reiterated that Kvyat’s podium was a just reward for the efforts.

“After winning with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing already in Austria, it is particularly pleasing to see Red Bull Scuderia Toro Rosso on the podium, as they helped us get back on the right road to success last year. We will briefly celebrate on this special day, but immediately focus on next week’s race in Hungary.” 

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