Red Bull Racing finished the Bahrain Grand Prix with a fourth and sixth place finish for Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel respectively. The Australian started the race thirteenth on the grid after the ten-place penalty from the Malaysian Grand Prix was applied and drove superbly throughout, while the four time champion started tenth but struggled to pass drivers as easily as his team-mate.
The team saw its drivers compete with each other as well as the drivers of other teams, and despite it being close between Ricciardo and Vettel on track, it was a fair fight for position.
“It was an awesome race; it was exciting,” said Ricciardo. “I think the first stint was a bit follow-the-leader, but from the second stint onwards, the race really started to turn up the heat and there were more battles going on in front and behind – it was good to be a part of them. We got close to the podium today, I think within half a second, so I was doing all I could.
“The car came to me as the race went on and I was happy with how I moved up through the pack, so a good day. It was good fun to race Sebastian, it was hard but fair and we left each other room. That’s what we want from each other and we discussed it beforehand, we’re racers and that’s what we enjoy doing.”
Whereas Riccardo was fighting through the field and only missed out on the podium to the Force India of Sergio Perez by less than half a second, Vettel was unable to follow his team-mate past the other Force India of Nico Hulkenberg due to a minor car issue, finishing just over a second behind his fellow German.
“I think it was a busy race today, especially at the end after the safety car, but it’s a shame we couldn’t get further up,” said Vettel after the race. “Daniel proved that there was a little bit more to get from the car today, I couldn’t really get to that bit, so I’m not so happy with my day. For some reason we seemed to be really slow on the straights, and not just against the Mercedes. Mercedes has a stronger package, so there’s work ahead of us.
“It was straight forward with Daniel today, we worked well together as a team and we raced well, but surely I would like to have finished higher up.”
Team Principal of Red Bull Racing Christian Horner believed had the race at the Bahrain International Circuit been one lap longer then Ricciardo would have found a way past Perez for the final podium spot.
“A very interesting race today and great entertainment; I think we got everything out of it that we could,” commented Horner. “The drivers worked together as a team earlier in the race when they were on different tyre strategies and then raced each other hard at the end of the race. Daniel put in a great drive and, with another lap, possibly could have made it to the podium. It was good to see them both racing each other cleanly and fairly.
“Sebastian reported a problem in a straight line, which we need to investigate because he didn’t manage to overtake anyone at the end of the straight all afternoon, so there’s plenty of work to do. We got a good haul of points today and we now have to try and further close that gap to Mercedes.”