For the first time since 2002, Honda Racing F1 are once again powering 4 cars on the grid. 2019 sees a continuation of the flourishing 2018 relationship started with Toro Rosso, as well as a new partnership with their proven big brother Aston Martin Red Bull Racing for the 2019 season.
Both the STR14 (Toro Rosso) and RB15 (Red Bull Racing) will be powered by the Honda RA619H power unit, with each of the 21 races providing opportunities to learn, progress, grow and hopefully, succeed. It’s now 60 years on from when Honda Racing took our first step in Motorsport and we’ll be working tirelessly all year to bring results our founder - Soichiro Honda - would be proud of.
Tanabe-san joined Honda Racing F1 in 2018, into what was then a new role of Technical Director, heading up our power unit operation track side. Having arrived from our successful Indy Car program where he was the Senior Manager of Honda Performance Development, he delved straight into the new relationship with Toro Rosso. Developing the RA618H over the course of the 2018 season, his relentless work with the team started to deliver with results proving our progress. Having first been on the F1 scene back in the 80’s, he has experience of success in this sport – something he’ll be pushing hard for in 2019.
In the 2019 season Masashi Yamamoto will take on the role of Honda F1 Managing Director. For the past three years, Yamamoto has been responsible for all Honda’s motorsport activities on 2 and 4 wheels. As General Manager of Motorsport Department, Yamamoto oversaw Honda’s victories in several categories, such as Super GT and Super Formula in the domestic racing scene in Japan, which saw Honda win again for the first time in many years. Yamamoto’s new role means that he will now focus solely on the Formula 1 operation, underlining just how important this project is to Honda, especially in its first year back supplying two teams on the grid.
Born in 1996, in Rouen, France, 23-year-old Pierre drove his way up the grids of Formula Renault 2.0 and 3.5 before going on to become Formula 2 champion in 2016. Confident, aggressive and a master of overtaking, he showed his skills in 2017 driving with us in the Japanese Super Formula. Nearly taking the championship title in his rookie year, he was denied by a cancelled final race. Pierre made his F1 debut in Malaysia 2017 and raced with us once again in the 2018 season for Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda. It was a memorable time for us all, getting to accomplish some positive results – including a 4th place finish in Bahrain. A popular figure amongst the Honda Racing F1 ranks, 2019 sees a new challenge for the both of us as he is promoted to the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team – an experience we look forward to facing alongside him.
A young driver with an already big reputation, Max began his F1 career at just 17 years and 166 days old with Toro Rosso. Now 21, he is about to begin his third season with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and his first with Honda Racing F1. This won’t be the Dutchman’s first time in a Honda garage however, with his father Jos Verstappen testing for us before the 2000 season – Max wasn’t ever too far away from the action. Max began his career racing in the Florida Winter series, then going on to drive in the Formula 3 championship. This all just a year before becoming the youngest F1 driver to start a World Championship race, in 2015. With 5 wins and 22 podiums to his name heading into the 2019 season, Max has already tasted success. Communication and efficiency will be key as we push to keep the strong results coming, in pursuit of the top 2 teams.
In September 2018, it was announced that Daniil would be making his return to F1 with Toro Rosso-Honda for the 2019 season. The Russian started his career as many others do, Karting. Partaking in Formula BMW, Formula Renault, the Toyota Racing Series and GP3 from 2010-2013, it was then that his time would come to step up to F1. Working his way through the ranks as a Junior Red Bull driver, he took to the starting grid in 2014 as a Toro Rosso driver for the first time, aged 19. The following year he was promoted to Red Bull Racing after the departure of 4 times world champion, Sebastian Vettel. In October 2017 it was announced that he had been released from the Red Bull Driver development program and spent the 2018 season as a test and reserve driver for Ferrari. All this, for a man who is only now 24 years old. For the 2019 season he rejoins Scuderia Toro Rosso with Honda Racing F1 now powering the team. In the pressurized environment of F1 Daniil has worked hard to get back to where he is and we hope to utilize his previous experience to help better understand our own performance moving forward.
Born in London in 1996, Alex was encouraged at an early age to begin Karting by his Father who was an ex race himself. From 2006-2010 he enjoyed success racing through the classes of the Super 1 Honda National Championship. Joining the Junior Red Bull Program for just one year in 2012, he then spent the next few years building experience in Formula Renault 2.0 before partnering with current Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc at ART in 2016, where they finished 1st and 2nd in the GP3 series. Alex joins Scuderia Toro Rosso-Honda straight from taking 3rd place in the FIA Formula 2 Championship with ART in which he accumulated 3 pole positions and 8 podiums, including 4 victories. As one of 3 rookies taking to the grid in 2019, it will be an exciting year for Alex! We’ll be doing all we can to help him get up to speed, as the only driver not to have driven an F1 car heading into pre-season testing.
Starting his career in the driving seat, Christian had success working his way through British Formula Renault, British Formula 3 and British Formula 2 championships before retiring from driving aged just 25. Horner admitted that he felt he wasn’t as quick as the best drivers and turned his energy to the Arden team he founded in 1997. It was during this time he was introduced to Helmut Marko, who headed up the Red Bull Junior Team. Appointed to the Red Bull team shortly after its inception in late 2004, he was the youngest Team Principal on the grid. 4 Constructors titles and 4 Drivers titles later, the rest is history. A respected figure up and down the pit lane, we hope to have a strong year working and learning along-side Christian and the rest of the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team.
A paddock legend, Franz has headed up Scuderia Toro Rosso since the team formed in 2006. There at the start of many young drivers’ careers, including four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, he leads the challenger team to doggedly pursue every opportunity. Franz brings decades of motorsport experience to Toro Rosso’s youthful energy and has been one of our closest contacts on the Toro Rosso-Honda partnership. We look forward to another year alongside one of the hardest working men in the paddock.