Published on December 1st, 2020 | by Subhash Nair0
Honda F1 Engines Found Their Way on the Podium at Bahrain GP
This year’s Bahrain GP sure was dramatic. Haas’ Romain Grosjean got into a terrible crash at 140km/h, thankfully he got pulled out of the wreckage relatively unscathed. But in less explosive news, Honda engines once again impressed with two of them finding their way on the podium.
It was Max Verstappen in 2nd place and Alex Albon in 3rd place for team Aston Martin Red Bull.
This will be Honda’s final season as a supplier of F1 engines. They only started supplying this team in 2019 and the partnership seems to have been fruitful. We wonder how far they could have gone together.
For more on the race report from this weekend, check out the press release below.
Honda-powered Formula 1 racers took different routes to the front in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, but in the end three Honda engines finished in the top six for the first time in 25 races (Germany, 2019). Max Verstappen and Alex Albon gave the manufacturer its first double-podium finish of 2020, while Pierre Gasly came home in sixth.
The Aston Martin Red Bull squad locked down the second row on the grid with Verstappen standing third alongside Albon – a position that was a testament to the Red Bull team, which had to repair Albon’s car after a hard crash in Friday’s free practice session.
Verstappen wrested second from Valtteri Bottas in the first corner of the race, but things took a somber turn before the end of the lap. In the rear of the field, Romain Grosjean took a hard right turn past the nose of Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat and slammed into the Armco barrier, cutting his car in half. The cockpit area, where Grosjean was still belted in, erupted in flames. Luckily, Grosjean was able to get out of the car as the safety crew helped him to safety.
The damage to the barrier made for a 90-minute red flag stoppage and on the restart, Kvyat had contact with Lance Stroll resulting in a rollover crash in which Stroll was not injured. Kvyat later received a 10-second penalty for his role in the incident.
Verstappen chased eventual race winner Lewis Hamilton for most of the event, leading briefly during the first round of pit stops, before settling for second. The Dutchman halved his deficit to Bottas in the point standings, gaining an extra points for running the race’s fastest lap, and moving to within 12 points of second place with two races left to run.
Albon ran another steady race and was chasing down Sergio Perez for third place when the engine in the Perez car started smoking. A lap later the rear of the car burst into flames, bringing out the Safety Car with three laps to run. Albon was promoted to third with the Perez stoppage, but the stewards were unable to get the race restarted for a final-lap sprint.
The stoppage also helped Gasly’s fortunes, securing his sixth-place run. The Frenchman was the only driver in the field to execute a one-stop strategy, and he was doing yeomans work in holding off Daniel Ricciardo and Bottas before the Perez Safety Car ended the proceedings. Kvyat rebounded from the penalty and finished 11th, just one spot out of the points.
The teams and drivers of the Formula 1 World Championship will stay in Bahrain but the track layout will change, as F1 will run for the first time on the faster 3.543 km (2.2 mi.) outer circuit.