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Spanish GP: Red Bulls boys are back!

2014-05-12 07:33

THEY'RE BACK! Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo celebrates his third position after the 2014 Spanish GP. Team mate Sebastian Vettel was fifth. Image: AP /Manu Fernandez

JOSEPH WILSON

MONTMELO, Spain - Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo stepped on to the Formula 1 podium for the first time in 55 attempts on Sunday after finishing a distant third behind a Mercedes 1-2 in the 2014 Spanish GP.

Red Bull drivers Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel, in a weekend dominated by winner Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg, also had positive performances come race time.

Ricciardo defended his third-place start after being passed by Valtteri Bottas of Williams seconds into the race. That made up for some of his frustration earlier in 2014 when his second at his home Australian GP was erased after being disqualified for a breach of fuel-flow regulations.

WATCH OUT, MERCEDES!

Ricciardo said from the podium at the Montmelo circuit: "It's really nice to be on the podium. I'm sure I will get to keep this one. I actually still feel a bit awkward up here but I'm sure I will get more comfortable. We're not going to catch Mercedes - at least this weekend we weren't going to - so a lonely third was not a bad result."

Ricciardo was promoted for the 2014 season from sister team Toro Rosso to replace fellow Australian Mark Webber as Vettel's driving partner. The 24-year-old has made a strong debut by finishing ahead of defending four-times champion Vettel in the most recent three races.

Vettel rebounded from two days spoiled by his malfunctioning car by manoeuvring from a 15th on the grid to finish fourth. With his car finally reliable, Vettel used a three-stop strategy to overtake a series of front-runners - among them Ferrari pair Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said after the race: "Daniel is thoroughly deserving of his first official podium, having been faultless all weekend. Vettel, after a nightmare start to the weekend (he lost all of Friday to a broken gearbox on Saturday) and a further five-place grid penalty because of it, produced a fantastic comeback through the field."

Red Bull stayed in second place in the Constructor's championship with 84 points, was behind Mercedes' 197.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 F1 season – fresh reports every day.
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