'Calm' Ricciardo deserved win

  • Last Updated: June 10 2014, 13:27 BST

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Daniel Ricciardo has proven beyond all doubt this season he is worthy of his place in Formula One.

Daniel Ricciardo: Worthy winner in Canada
Daniel Ricciardo: Worthy winner in Canada

In his 57th grand prix, Ricciardo took full advantage of a bad day at the office for Mercedes to claim his maiden triumph by taking the chequered flag in Canada on Sunday at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

It proved to be a hugely popular win as Ricciardo has become one of the sport's most likeable characters given his easy-going manner and big, beaming smile.

With two third-place finishes and now the win to his name from the last three races, Ricciardo is currently third in the standings and out-performing four-times champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

Horner could not be happier for Ricciardo and believes the team's junior programme has again proven - as it did with Vettel - it has

an eye for talent after nursing the Australian through the ranks.

"I didn't believe we could win that race," said Horner.

"But the way Daniel has driven this season, the way he has made his passing moves, he has driven faultlessly.

"He has grabbed his opportunity, and I am delighted for him he won his first grand prix. It is a wonderful feeling for any driver.

"It is a very special day in his life and career, and I am sure it will probably take a while for it to sink in.

"It is also a fantastic testament to the junior programme that we are discovering young driver talent on merit, like Sebastian and Daniel.

"All credit to Red Bull and the job Helmut (Marko, Red Bull advisor) has done in identifying these young drivers and giving them a chance.

"Daniel was a young guy who came over from Australia with very little prospect of furthering his career had it not been for Red Bull and (owner) Deitrich Mateschitz's support and backing through the junior formula, the junior team and Toro Rosso.

"There were questions asked when we chose him as our driver alongside Sebastian, but he has demonstrated beyond all doubt he fully deserves that position."

Chief technical officer Adrian Newey concedes he also had his doubts in promoting Ricciardo from Toro Rosso into a seat alongside Vettel as replacement for fellow Aussie Mark Webber who retired from F1 at the end of last year.

"Daniel has been massively impressive this year. He has certainly exceeded all our expectations," said Newey.

"What I find amazing about him is how calm he is in the car. When he's on the radio it's like he's sitting down with a cup of tea and driving one-handed. It's quite remarkable.

"He's very calm, collected, takes everything in his stride, and he's really enjoying his job."


New Sky Bet customers: Free matched bet up to £30