Red Bull: More to come after fifth-straight podium

Speedcafe.com

Tuesday 11th July, 2017 - 10:57am

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Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has warned Formula 1 rivals Mercedes and Ferrari that there is more performance to come from its car after its latest podium finish in the Austrian Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo delivered his fifth consecutive podium finish after showing encouraging pace on the power dependent Red Bull Ring on Sunday.

A fortnight after his Azerbaijan Grand Prix victory, the Australian qualified fifth but was able to pass Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and hold off a charging Lewis Hamilton in the closing laps to claim third.

Speaking to Speedcafe.com prior to Sunday’s race, Ricciardo felt his team were only halfway to unlocking the potential of the RB13.

With the next run of circuits on the calendar not expected to affect Red Bull as much as the power-dependant Baku and Red Bull Ring tracks, team boss Horner is confident of making further gains.

The championship moves to Silverstone this weekend before visits to the Hungaroring and Spa-Francorchamps.

“We’re hoping that getting to some more conventional circuits again, we should be able to narrow that gap down,” said Horner.

“You can see that when Hamilton got the instruction to turn up the engine for the last 10-15 laps, that was worth between 0.4-0.5s, we could still maintain our position.

“We finished within 10 seconds of the grand prix winner, and without any safety car.

“We definitely have narrowed the gap and there is more in the pipeline.

“Everybody in the factory is working tremendously hard.

“Hopefully they will continue to get performance on the car and, at the same time, hopefully on the engine side things will continue to improve.”

Horner added Ricciardo is performing at the top of his game.

“He (Ricciardo) is driving incredibly well,” said Horner.

“The way he drove in Austria, with not a single mistake.

“He nailed the first lap, the pass on Kimi (Raikkonen) was firm but fair and then really, the last 10 laps were all qualifying laps.

“He had to make hay in the second sector to try to at least be out of the DRS zone or 0.8s up the road on the start-finish line to not give Lewis a sniff of being past him. And he did that.

“Again it was huge pressure, like in Montreal, and he has absolutely delivered.

“He has nailed five podiums in a row now including a grand prix victory at tracks that we didn’t feel would be our best.

“The last three circuits exposed some of our weaknesses too, so to have had two thirds and a win is pretty decent.”