Honda to win in F1 Season Finale
Honda showed a hint of things to come in qualifying as Verstappen stormed to his first pole of the season while all four Honda-powered machines qualified ninth or better. Verstappen used that pole to great advantage as he left the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas in his rearview mirror at the start and rolled to a 15-second victory. The win was his second of the season and the 10th of his career, while marking Honda's third trip to the podium top step of the podium in 2020.
The only potential drama can on the 11th lap of the race when Sergio Perez' car locked a gearbox and brought out a Safety Car, erasing Verstappen's 3.4-second advantage. But this was as close as anyone got to the Red Bull car all day as he quickly built what would show to be an insurmountable lead.
Verstappen's teammate Alex Albon had a steady race after starting fifth, passing Lando Norris for fourth on Lap 7 and holding that spot for the rest of the day. The Thai-born driver made it interesting in the waning laps, closing to within two seconds of Lewis Hamilton for the final podium spot before settling for his fourth top-four finish of the year.
Pierre Gasly had another promising run in the Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda, making up three spots after the restart to place 8th – earning his 10th points-paying result in the years 17 races. His teammate Daniil Kvyat made it into Q3 for the third straight race but trouble on his first stint left him to finish 11th for the third time this season.
The finish gave Honda the 199th podium result in its Formula 1 history, and the 20th provided by Verstappen. The win was Honda's 78th and the first from pole since Verstappen's win in last year's Brazil GP.