Christian Horner admits that he was surprised that Daniel Ricciardo was able to show so strongly in Sochi before the Aussie was sidelined by a late mechanical issue.
Like Sergio Perez Ricciardo pitted early under the Grosjean safety car, and thereafter tried to hold position while running a long second stint. Meanwhile his team mate Dany Kvyat took fifth place after starting 11th.
“It was a shame because Daniel had done such a good job on the hard tyre,” Horner told this writer. “The risk with the strategy worked well, and he was doing a great job to keep the faster cars of Bottas and Raikkonen behind. With five laps to go it looks like hr had a suspected rear hub issue. A great shame. I think we need to investigate fully to understand it.
“To be honest to be fighting for a podium today, after the safety car, we didn’t expect that. And for Daniil to pick up a fifth place in his home race is a respectable performance.”
Although most upcoming tracks feature long straights Horner is confident that RBR can still chase some big points.
“Absolutely. Hopefully in Austin we should be in better shape. There are some faster corners than there are here in Sochi. We knew this track was going to be tough for us. Mexico is a little unknown, although it looks like it’s got a very long straight. Brazil will be tough, and Abu Dhabi we’ve always been OK.
Regarding possible engine change penalties he added: “We’re tight but OK at the moment.”