Horner lauds 'truly sensational' Ricciardo
28 July 2014 – Christian Horner has heaped praise on Hungarian Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo for delivering a "truly sensational" performance.
The Red Bull driver jumped up the order during the first Safety Car period of Sunday's race, when the top four missed the chance to pit immediately, and made his tyre strategy work to remain a member of the leading pack.
He ultimately came out on top in a close battle with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton after a pair of bold passes.
"Daniel was truly sensational," said Red Bull team boss Horner.
"Starting in wet conditions, he benefitted from being a little bit further back and getting in for slick tyres at the first Safety Car and then managed to make his strategy work on the Soft tyres through the next stages of the race.
"We knew we'd have to make a final stop, which would put us behind Alonso and Hamilton who were trying to get to the end. But he closed the gap down quickly and then, with some fantastic overtaking manoeuvres in the last five laps, pulled off a dramatic victory to achieve the second in his career and our second of the season."
Horner also praised Sebastian Vettel for limiting the damage of an eventful afternoon in seventh position.
The German was one of the four drivers to get caught out by the first Safety Car period and, while doing his best to keep Hamilton at bay later in the race, narrowly avoided retirement with a wild spin at the final corner.
"After a good start and some good battles, Sebastian got the call at the same time as Daniel to pit after the Caterham had an accident, but was too far round the last corner to make it into the pit lane," said Horner.
"He was making progress but then had the spin at the final corner and managed to avoid the pit wall, but he flat spotted his tyres and then had a problem at the restart. It was then a question of damage limitation, trying to run the Hard tyres to the end of the race and he did a phenomenal job to keep [Valtteri] Bottas behind him."
Heading into the summer break, Red Bull holds second in the standings, 174 points behind Mercedes.