Published: Mon, March 18, 2019
Sports | By Juana Wells

Red Bull "over-performed" in Australian GP - Horner

Red Bull

In their first Grand Prix with Honda, Max Verstappen was able to come through to finish third after qualifying fourth behind both Mercedes and the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel.

In another dagger for Ricciardo, Verstappen said he did not feel any different without his Australian teammate by his side at the season opener.

Red Bull are expected to move to another level with Honda engines this season, team principal Christian Horner describing the change to new power units as "the missing ingredient".

The Japanese manufacturer also secured its first podium appearance since the sodden 2008 British Grand Prix, where Rubens Barrichello finished second for the outfit when they were a full works team.

Verstappen emerged from the pits still fourth, but quickly caught and passed Vettel's Ferrari before closing in on Hamilton to challenge for second place in the closing stages.

"To start the season on the podium challenging Mercedes is very good for us".

The 2019 season is underway with the first race of the season today in Melbourne (5.10am start United Kingdom time).

"Max has been able to use that to really good effect today".

That's according to Johnny Herbert, who expects Verstappen and Red Bull to be more of a major player in Bahrain at the end of the month.

"In terms of the speed we had throughout the race, it was a very good step forward from past year".

"On the first tires, as soon as you got within one and a half seconds the tires overheated and I couldn't place an attack".

"I had a really good balance and I was just slowly pushing up to him, but without destroying the tyres".

"I think they've got a good chance of doing the job", Herbert said of Red Bull's prospects. As soon as I had the opportunity to go for it, I went for it, and luckily it paid off.

"I'm very pleased with that - the engine has been performing well without any issues".

"I think we were faster than him, but at this track it's just so hard to get past", he admitted.

"In terms of speed we had throughout the race, it was a very good step forward from past year", said Verstappen, whose best previous result in Australia was a fifth-place finish in 2017.

Like this: