Christian Horner felt Daniel Ricciardo deserved his podium finish in the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday, with the Australian recovering from a disappointing outcome in qualifying on Saturday to finish third.
Ricciardo was able to jump both Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen during the pit stop cycle after pitting later than both, and although he suffered a scare when he brushed the wall on the exit of St Devote on the restart after the safety car, he was able to hold on for his second consecutive third place finish.
Red Bull Racing Team Principal Horner was delighted that the Australian was able to stand on the Monaco podium, and felt he got the best possible result, while team-mate Verstappen finished fifth.
“A very strong drive by Daniel Ricciardo in the Grand Prix, after feeling slightly frustrated yesterday things went his way today, getting on to the podium in third place,” said Horner.
“But what really made the race for him were his laps in free air around the pit stop. We’d elected to try for the undercut on (Valtteri) Bottas with Max and we were within a whisper of achieving that, which Valtteri covered.
“And that in turn gave Daniel free air which he used to great effect, and that was where he obtained the podium finish. Even after surviving a brush with the wall at the re-start after the safety car, he achieved everything possible today.”
Horner was happy that Red Bull showed themselves to be competitive during the Monaco weekend, with both cars inside the top five, and he acknowledges an upgrade from their oil suppliers ExxonMobil that aided their performance.
“To get both cars to the finish and a podium on merit is a very satisfactory result here in Monaco,” said Horner. “The cars took another step forward here in Monaco and we thank the team at ExxonMobil for bringing an engine oil upgrade here for us, another incremental gain in performance, and we now look forward to Montreal.
“Our congratulations are with Ferrari on winning this grand prix again after 16 years.”