The 2019 Austrian Grand Prix stands as a milestone in Formula One history, as it marked the first victory for Red Bull Racing with a Honda engine. This momentous achievement came after years of development and collaboration between Red Bull and Honda. In this article, we delve into the thrilling race at the Red Bull Ring and explore the journey of Honda's engine development.
The Austrian Grand Prix, held on June 30, 2019, took place at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. Red Bull Racing, led by their drivers Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly.
As the lights went out, Max Verstappen, piloting the Red Bull RB15 equipped with a Honda power unit, had a bad start which put him down to 7th place. After his bad start he immediately demonstrated his intent. He displayed exceptional racecraft and skill, battling with Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in a thrilling fight for the lead.
Verstappen's relentless pursuit paid off, and on the final laps, he executed a brilliant overtake on Leclerc to secure a dramatic victory. The Red Bull-Honda combination had triumphed, delivering a historic win that ignited celebrations both on and off the track.
The victory at the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix was the culmination of Honda's extensive engine development program. After a challenging return to Formula One as an engine supplier in 2015, Honda intensified its efforts to enhance performance and reliability.
Throughout the following years, Honda made significant strides in refining its power unit, focusing on extracting more power and improving overall drivability. The collaboration with Red Bull Racing, which began in 2019, provided valuable feedback and allowed Honda to further optimize its engine's performance to suit the team's requirements.
Honda's development journey was not without its obstacles. The manufacturer faced difficulties in the early years, grappling with reliability issues and a lack of performance compared to its rivals. We all know the collaboration with Mclaren was not the best in the years before with the famous words of Fernando Alonso " GP2 Engine ". However, Honda remained determined and steadily made progress, addressing deficiencies and implementing technical innovations.
Honda started in 2018 with the Red Bull Junior team Toro Rosso supplying with engines. That was the first step to success. By the 2019 season, Honda's engine had significantly improved, delivering more power and reliability. The breakthrough victory at the Austrian Grand Prix showcased the culmination of Honda's tireless work and marked a turning point for the manufacturer's return to prominence in Formula One.
The triumph at the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix reverberated throughout the Formula One community, cementing the Red Bull-Honda partnership as a force to be reckoned with. The victory not only marked a significant milestone for Red Bull Racing but also reestablished Honda as a competitive engine supplier in the sport. Verstappen was able to give Honda a Driver World Championship in 2021 and in 2022.
The last years was it uncertain if Honda would continue in Formula 1 and since 2022 the engines are names Red Bull PowerTrains and Red Bull is developing the Honda Engine. Red Bull announced to continue with Ford from 2026 and Honda decided to stay in Formula 1. Now with Aston Martin from 2026.