Ricciardo win 'unexpected', admits Horner

ยฉ XPB 

Red Bull principal Christian Horner admitted on Sunday that Daniel Ricciardo's victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix at the head of a team 1-2 with Max Verstappen finishing in second place had come as a surprise.

"It was a fantastic day for the team," Horner said. "43 points at a race like this is not what we expected this morning

"We capitalised on the misfortune of Lewis, hopefully in some way the pressure we were putting on him contributed to that," he added. "But our drivers both did a fantastic job to be in a position to capitalise. Great racing between the two of them, great team work."

Many saw Ricciardo's win as being only just reward, making up for several near-misses earlier in the season.

"Heโ€™s had lots of second places this year," Horner agreed. "These things - bad luck tends to even out over a period of time, usually over a season. His misfortune, in particular Monaco, was todayโ€™s bad luck for Lewis.

"It was great to see him get that victory. He celebrated it in his own unique style. He was a very popular winner today."

Horner revealed that Ricciardo had needed to call upon his team mate's car set-up data after a less than ideal time in Friday's practice sessions.

"The two engineers explored different set-ups. Maxโ€™s side of the garage was far happier on Friday evening. Quite naturally, the other side of the garage morphed onto that set-up. The long run in FP3 gave Daniel much more of an understanding and confidence for the race."

Ultimately it was the start of the race that decided which of the two Red Bull drivers would be in a position to win the race once Lewis Hamilton retired from the lead with engine failure.

"The main dictating factor today was the first corner," Horner acknowledged. "Max lost out after the Ferrari/Rosberg get-together. He was lucky to avoid it. That was the difference today."

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