Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner praised Daniel Ricciardo after the Australian claimed an impressive second place at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Horner did not expect the team to be strong at Spa-Francorchamps, but felt Ricciardo drove superbly to claim the runners-up spot behind Nico Rosberg.
“An impressive performance by Daniel today; a great disciplined drive, looking after his tyres and making an effective two-stop strategy work,” said Horner. “To finish second, at the type of venue that we weren’t expecting to be our strongest, is an amazing result.
“He picked up a little bit of damage after the first corner but we were able to repair that in the break (during a red flag), and he drove a strong race thereafter.”
Horner was disappointed that Max Verstappen’s race in the second Red Bull was compromised at the first turn, with heavy damage to the underside of his car affecting the stability of his RB12 after being hit by Kimi Raikkonen, who had in turn been hit by Sebastian Vettel.
“Max’s race was compromised after turn one,” admitted Horner. “After an average start he got inside of Kimi into that turn but unfortunately he was squeezed from the outside by Sebastian and three into one quite simply doesn’t go.
“The resulting damage significantly compromised the aerodynamics on the underside of the car costing him about a second and half per lap. He made a strong recovery to finish unfortunately just outside the points, It’s clearly not the result he was looking for in front of such an enormous crowd that came out to support him all weekend but hopefully a lot more positive races to come.”
Horner was happy for the team to have extended their advantage in the Constructors’ Championship over Ferrari to 22-points despite heading into the weekend expecting a tough battle with the Italian outfit.
“For the team to be coming away from Spa still second in the Constructors’ Championship, and having extended our lead over Ferrari, is more than we could have envisaged,” finished Horner.