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High praise from Horner for Ricciardo

2014-03-30 18:14

EVEN AN ENERGY DRINK (OR TWO) COULDN'T HELP: Young Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo scored big kudos with his team (and the fans) for coming up smiling after a second tragedy of a race, this time in Malaysia. Image: AFP/Mohd Rasfan

Patrick Johnston

SEPANG, Malaysia - Red Bull boss Christian Horner had high praise for Daniel Ricciardo on Sunday (March 30 2014) after the Australian driver hit problem after problem during the Malaysian Formula 1 GPO but still came out smiling.

Ricciardo was disqualified from a glorious second-place finish at the season-opener in Australia and he could have been in a foul mood after a disastrous sequence of events at Sepang.

However, he said: "It went from looking good to looking pretty bad in a short time. I'm really disappointed but at the same time there's a little bit in me which is happy because I think I've come out of the first two races how I wanted to... in a way."


First Ricciardo's fuel sensor - the unit that caused the Oz controversy - this time failed completely and then he drove off from a tyre change with and had to return to the garage to have it refitted.

The eventually earned him (or, more correctly, the team) a 10-place grid penalty for the upcoming  Baharain GP.

As he returned to the track, dropping from fourth to stone last, Ricciardo's front wing came loose and damaged a front tyre - blue smoke was coming from the rubber - and back he went to the pits.

He also had to serve a 10-second stop/go penalty but retired before the end of the race.

Despite his troubles, the 24-year-old still managed a smile when he hopped out of his car - earning further admiration from his new team principal. "Daniel was fantastic today, I think he absolutely proved any doubters wrong," Horner said. "He's an absolute racer.

"Everything we've seen of Daniel has been enormously impressive and the way that he's handled adversity - today didn't go his way but he gets out of the car and he's got a smile on his face. He knows that it will come right."

Horner said the failure of Ricciardo's fuel sensor could strengthen Red Bull's appeal against the Oz disqualification, an appeal based on the technology's unreliability.
"It's not been the only issue with the sensors this weekend on our cars. I think it clearly demonstrates that there are issues with these sensors."


He had "no idea" why Red Bull was having so many problems with the fuel sensors, an issue which has badly affected the team's start to the season.

"We've got a load of data to go away and analyse. Theoretically they shouldn't (fail) but we need to look at that and understand it."

Despite Ricciardo's problems, Red Bull celebrated the team's first podium finishof the season: defending F1 champion Sebastian Vettel was third, a victory for the team after severe problems pre-season.

Horner joked: "It was great to get the podium - I hope we keep it this time."

Read more on:    red bull  |  daniel ricciardo  |  sepang  |  formula 1

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