Christian Horner was thrilled to see Daniel Ricciardo stand on the podium for a fifth consecutive race weekend after the Australian finished a strong third in the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Ricciardo made a great start to pinch third from Kimi Raikkonen after overcoming the fast starting Romain Grosjean, and then withstood late pressure from the recovering Lewis Hamilton to clinch the podium, much to the delight off his Red Bull Racing boss Horner.
“A fantastic race from Daniel after making a good start, including a good passing move on the fast starting Haas of Romain Grosjean,” said Horner. “He then drove a very disciplined race; consistently and competitively.
“He came under serious challenge from Lewis in the closing laps but defended firmly and fairly and it was great to see him on the podium at our home grand prix, for his fifth consecutive podium.”
Unfortunately for Red Bull, Max Verstappen was the first retirement from the race after a slow start, caused by a clutch issue, left him vulnerable heading into turn one, and he was spun around by Fernando Alonso, who had just been hit by Daniil Kvyat.
Following the incident, Verstappen appeared to have no drive, and Horner admits that the team are unclear to whether that was caused by his start or by the contact at turn one.
“Max’s car unfortunately went into anti-stall on the grid which caused a slow getaway,” said Horner. “He was out of position and then got collected after an incident between Daniil Kvyat and Fernando Alonso which turned him round at the first corner and thereafter had an issue which looks like the clutch.
“We’ll have to get the car back to understand if it was a result of the incident or what happened off the start line.”