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RUSSIAN GP: RACE REACTION

All of the reaction from Max, Daniel and Christian following the Russian Grand Prix.

MAX VERSTAPPEN, Finish Position: 5th, Start Position: 19th

“To come from the back to finish fifth was a very good result today. I had a good start, a good first lap and from then onwards we could go through the traffic more easily than expected and also manage the tyres very well. It was a bit tricky at the start because Pierre stalled in front of me and I had to go around him. Then going into Turn 2 we were careful not to have any contact and after the first eight laps we were fifth and still in the pit stop window of Ferrari and Mercedes. After they pitted they couldn’t get past me. Unexpectedly, I was in the lead of the race and could keep them behind which shows that we really had very good pace, even on old tyres. Then once we stopped, we just had to bring it home. The tyre strategy was right because the Soft tyres were the only option we had in order to go as long as possible into the race. Today was better than expected, so I hope that the rest of the races this season will also be better than we expect. I enjoyed myself out there and this is a good result for my birthday.”

DANIEL RICCIARDO, Finish Position: 6th, Start Position: 18th

The first lap was a bit of a mess and there are a few little things I will look back on and try to do better. Two cars were fighting at Turn 8 and as I went to pass them I was on the marbles, then off-track, which lost me positions. I then tried to take the slipstream of what I think was the McLaren but when I pulled out of the tow I hit some debris damaging my front wing. From then on, we had a bit of a limp and my race was pretty lonely. I think as a Team, fifth and sixth was probably the best we could achieve from the back of the grid today but obviously I would like to have been closer to fifth than seventh. Although we had better pace than expected this weekend I think we still made the right decision to take the penalties and on paper Suzuka, Austin and Mexico look better for us. I may have forgotten what champagne tastes like and I definitely want more before the season is out, so I will do what I can in Suzuka to get that.”

CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal:

“A fantastic drive from Max today on his 21st birthday; it was a really mature performance and getting into the top six in the first seven laps was phenomenal to watch. Max then led the race for a large percentage of the Grand Prix but of course we had to make the mandatory pit stop, which we did with ten laps to go, putting him out of touch with the leaders. With the Ultrasoft tyres being quite fragile he was unable to take the fight to Ferrari in the closing stages, bringing his car home in fifth place. Daniel unfortunately incurred front wing damage on the first lap, losing him front downforce, which he had to manage throughout the first part of the race. He was still able to make his way into the top six and once he was clear of Leclerc the Team was able to do a fast nose change and get him back out on track in sixth position. Finishing fifth and sixth behind Ferrari and Mercedes was the optimum we could have achieved from the back of the grid today, but it has been very encouraging to see the strong pace of the RB14 all weekend.”