Formula 1

Horner hails “a fantastic performance” for Red Bull in Japan

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner was left delighted with the performances of drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, who secured a second double-podium finish in as many races.

After an excellent start, Verstappen finished second while Ricciardo recovered from a more difficult opening lap to finish behind his team-mate.

Horner believes that Verstappen could have contended for the victory, had the Red Bull team received more fortune within lapped traffic.

“Great drives by both Max and Daniel today,” Horner said.  “After a good start Daniel unfortunately lost out to Esteban Ocon on the first lap but made a fantastic pass around the outside of Turn 1 after the safety car restart.

“It was unfortunate that there was a back-marker on the last lap that allowed Lewis off the hook or else it might have been a very interesting finish.”

Horner also singled out Verstappen’s tyre management for praise, and revealed that a blistering front-right did not halt the Dutchman’s progress.

“Towards the end of the race we saw a blister begin to appear on the inside of Max’s front left tyre; despite having to manage that he was still able to catch Lewis and put pressure on him,” said Horner.

“From there onwards we looked as if we had very good pace this afternoon and Max was able to stick with Lewis pretty comfortably in what turned out to be a one-stop grand prix.

“Nonetheless a fantastic performance by both Max and Daniel to finish second and third here in Suzuka – and achieve our first back to back double podium in the hybrid era.”

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