Honda thanks partners and fans after 'encouraging' year


Honda F1 boss Toyoharu Tanabe says the engine supplier enjoyed an "encouraging" year, thanks to the efforts of its team partners and members as well as the support of its many fans.

Honda secured its first wins of the hybrid era in 2019, courtesy of Red Bull's Max Verstappen winning three races, in Austria, Germany and Brazil.

The Japanese signed off in Abu Dhabi with three of its drivers in the points at Yas Marina, much to Tanabe-san's delight.

"Having one driver on the second step of the podium and three cars in the points was a good end to the season," said the Honda engineer.

"Another strong performance from Max saw him do a good job of managing the tyres and he produced a fantastic passing move on Leclerc to take second place and he is now confirmed as third in the Drivers’ championship.

"This was our first year in the hybrid era working with two teams, with whom we communicated very well, allowing us to make a solid step forward.

"That progress is reflected in our three wins with Red Bull and two podiums with Toro Rosso."

Honda's spectacular progress was the result of a company-wide effort, but after achieving a performance break-through this year, Tanabe-san said the manufacturer is now focused on sustaining its forward march.

"I would like to thank both teams; those members working at the track and everyone back in the facilities in Japan, Italy and the UK, as well as our suppliers," Tanabe-san added.

"We even had support from other departments within Honda, so the whole company played a part in our improved performance this year.

"I would also like to thank all the fans who have supported us.

"This has been an encouraging year, but what we achieved this season is not yet where we want to be, so we will keep pushing to improve."

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