Christian Horner says that the Canadian GP win is a big boost for both Red Bull and Renault, but stresses that the gap to Mercedes remains huge.
“Let’s not beat about the bush, Mercedes were the quickest car today,” said Horner. “They ran into their issues, whatever they were. We’ve had issues at other points in the season. They were very, very strong here this weekend. We’ve still got a lot to do. I think we were 12-15km/h slower compared to a Force India or a Williams on the straight, and that’s where we need to improve. It’s great motivation for Renault to get a double podium here, to get the first win of the year. It’s a fantastic performance.”
Horner agreed that the team has made progress, even if it still lags behind its main rival.
“If you think where we were three months ago, it’s an enormous effort by all the team in Milton Keynes, all the team in Viry, everybody doing their bit to get us into a position to not only win the race but have two cars on the podium.
“You guys were asking at one point can Mercedes win all the races? I think I said theoretically they could, and in all probability they wouldn’t. What we’ve managed to do is to keep chipping away, we’ve managed to improve the car, managed to improve the engine, and we were there to capitalise on the misfortune of Mercedes today. We’ve got to keep pushing and keep closing that gap down, because it’s still significant.”
Horner was full of praise for Ricciardo: “The way he’s driven, the way he’s made his passing moves when he’s needed to this year, he’s driven faultlessly all season. He’s grabbed his opportunity today and I’m delighted for him that he’s won his first Grand Prix. It’s a wonderful feeling for any driver. It was nice to have Sebastian up on the podium to enjoy it with him, and it’s a very special day in his life and career. It will probably take a day or two to sink in.”