Verstappen gets thrilling taste of Honda history in Japan

Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team

Dutchman joined by former F1 driver Sato for RA272 classic test drive.

Max Verstappen has piloted Aston Martin Red Bull Racing‘s 2019 car that is powered by Honda ingenuity to fourth in the driver’s standings and has now got a taste of the Japanese manufacturer’s first Grand Prix winning car ahead of Suzuka. Here is all you need to know:

– The Dutchman heads into the latest F1 race weekend just three points behind third-placed Ferrari Charles Leclerc in the standings with five races left of the 2019 season alongside rookie team-mate Alexander Albon.

– In order to get a feel for the history of the iconic Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, Verstappen joined former F1 driver and 2017 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato for a go behind the wheel of the classic RA272.

– Honda’s Tochigi Proving Ground was the setting for the blast around the track inside the car that American Richie Ginther drove to victory at the 1965 Mexican GP – which was the first Grand Prix victory for a Japanese team, car or engine in motorsport’s blue-riband event.

– The talented duo tried out the 1.5 litre V12 powered RA272 first to the delight of the watching Honda employees around the track with Max slipping into the more familiar cockpit of 2011’s RB7 contender next up.

– Verstappen, 22, revealed: “It was very cool to get to experience this car. I think the oldest race car I’ve driven before today was from about 2008. The pure emotion from the engine and the car itself was incredible. I didn’t even fit properly in the car! The main difference in the RB7 was that I had seatbelts! In the other one I didn’t, so it felt a bit odd. With the RA272 I had to shift gears with a foot clutch, which I haven’t done in quite some time.”

– Former BAR and Jordan driver Sato, 42, added: “This is a really special moment for any race car driver. There’s such a nostalgic feeling with it. The car is obviously very different to modern F1 and race cars and Max has just experienced how tricky it is to make it run smoothly.”

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