Honda 'not where we want to be' despite 'encouraging' 2019

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Honda admit there's still plenty of progress to be made despite their best Formula 1 season in almost two decades in 2019.

Before the start, all the speculation was on whether a new partnership with Red Bull would work or whether it would hold the Milton Keynes-based outfit back.

Quickly though a podium for Max Verstappen in Australia allayed those fears and from that point, the season went from strength to strength.

"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," Honda's F1 chief Toyoharu Tanabe reflected.

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

"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 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."

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However, despite making strong strides in closing the gap to Mercedes and Ferrari, Honda knows another step is needed to fight regularly with their rivals.

"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," Tanabe concluded.