Red Bull’s Christian Horner: “An unbelievable tale of two halves today”

Daniel Ricciardo took victory in Azerbaijan - Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

After a stunning fifty-third victory in Formula 1 for Red Bull Racing, Team Principal Christian Horner was naturally delighted with the outcome of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, even if they did it the hard way on Sunday.

Daniel Ricciardo came through to take his fifth career victory despite falling as low as seventeenth after an early pit stop due to debris in his brake ducts, with a couple of great moves, including jumping from seventh to third in one swoop on the final safety car restart, before taking advantage of penalties to both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel ahead of him to assume the lead.

Whilst happy with the victory, Horner admitted that seeing the second Red Bull of Max Verstappen retire with yet another mechanical issue was disappointing, especially when he was running competitively inside the top four when he was forced into the pits.

“Certainly an action packed grand prix, and an unbelievable afternoon,” said Horner. “It started with a bit of chaos with Daniel picking up some debris after the incident between Kimi and Valtteri that got stuck in his brake ducts, we had to pit him very early to get rid of that debris and it looked like he was out of the race at that point.

“At the time, Max was in a really strong position harrying for P3 and looked like he great pace in the car. Unfortunately a sudden failure in the engine eliminated Max from the race which is hugely frustrating.

“From then on we kept our focus with Daniel and he was coming back through the order with great passing moves and restarts. The team had a handle on the strategy and following the red flag he had another great start with a brilliant pass on both Williams.

“We had a little bit of luck with the penalties for Lewis and Sebastian and it gave us our first victory of 2017. An unbelievable tale of two halves today but fantastic for the team to score its 53rd grand prix victory.”