Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner felt fifth was the best result they could have achieved with Daniel Ricciardo during Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, although he did bemoan the brake issues that saw Max Verstappen’s race come to a premature end after just eleven laps.
Verstappen had made a good start to jump up to fourth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Ricciardo, and made an early stop in order to try and jump those ahead of him only for the Dutchman to run off track at turn four and hit the barriers nose first after his rear brakes gave up the ghost.
Ricciardo ran as high as third during the race in the desert but the inability to get his Soft compound tyres up to temperature during the second stint of the race hurt him badly, falling away to sixth, and although he managed to re-pass Felipe Massa for fifth, the top four had broken away and left him with too much to do in the final stint when he switched back to the Supersoft compound.
“After an exciting opening to the race up to the first pit stops, our cars looked in good contention with Max having made a good start,” said Horner. “He managed to move up a couple of places and we pitted reasonably early for an undercut but unfortunately shortly after a rear brake pressure issue caused his immediate retirement which brought out the safety car.
“We stopped Daniel under the safety car but lost some time behind Lewis as he deliberately slowed in the pit lane for which he was later penalized. Nonetheless we were still able to get out ahead of him and at that stage for the restart we were third on the road.
“It became very quickly apparent that Daniel struggled to warm up the soft tyre compared to our competitors and dropped several places before recovering one against Massa. With the final stint on the Supersoft tyre unfortunately fifth place was the best that we could achieve today.”