Daniel Ricciardo had a nightmare.
Verstappen's podium was the first for a Honda powered auto since the 2008 British Grand Prix. Red Bull however misjudged how much grip on the track would increase and Gasly was helpless as he sat in the garage, watching his name slip down and out of the order.
Listening to an ecstatic Red Bull team boss Christian Horner would not have helped ease his pain.
"A fantastic start to the season with a podium finish at our first Grand Prix with our new power unit partner Honda, who haven't finished in the top three since 2008", said Horner.
Red Bull switched to the Japanese manufacturer after acrimoniously ending their 13-year relationship with Renault which yielded them four world titles. The engine's delivering good power, it's been reliable. "To pass a Ferrari, to be racing wheel to wheel on the straight with them is really positive", he said.
"To do that at [Albert Park] is very encouraging for us and I think we've got a good basis on which to start and really develop this auto".
Verstappen set his sights on Hamilton up he road, and while he bridged the gap with the Mercedes driver, getting past was always going to be a hard task.
"Time will tell if we can fight for top spot", Verstappen added after finishing behind only Hamilton and runaway race victor Valtteri Bottas on Sunday. "To do that at this venue is really encouraging for us", Horner said.
Verstappen's new team-mate Pierre Gasly finished the race in 11th after a strategic error during qualifying meant that he started only 17th on the grid.
"This is also great for Honda". I guess time will tell if we can fight for top spot.
The announcement was made mid-season last campaign, and sent shock waves throughout the F1 community, and considering that tensions were high at the time, most media sources cited Max Verstappen as the reason for Ricciardo's sudden move.
McLaren failed to live up to its early-season promise, however, and its campaign soon unraveled as the team wound up finishing seventh in the constructors' championship, meaning Alonso's declaration has not aged particularly well.