Red Bull team boss Christian Horner does not expect Sebastian Vettel to let his obvious frustration with the RB10 boil over after a turbo failure saw him retire from third early in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Vettel, up to third after Ricciardo’s tardy start, tumbled down the order as he struggled with an issue, pulling into the pits for a lengthy stop, before returning to the track only to retire a lap later.
It is the German’s second non-finish of the year, having retired from the season opener in Australia with an engine failure.
He has suffered numerous other setbacks this season, having stopped out on track during qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix, which forced him to start just 15th, as well as an ERS issue that hampered his efforts in qualifying at Monaco.
Yet, despite mounting frustration – some of which spilt out while he sat stationary in the pits in Monaco, before he quickly caught his tongue – Christian Horner has no fears regarding the four-time world champion.
“Obviously this weekend was pretty tough on him,” explained Horner. “He’s doing nothing wrong and he’s smart enough to recognise that.
“Like any sportsman he’s going to be frustrated when things go wrong. With time to take a breath, reflect, he’ll just keep working away at it.
“That’s the nature of who he is. He never gives up, he will just keep his head down and keep working harder and harder.”
While Vettel’s struggles continued in Monaco, there were smiles on the other side of the Red Bull garage as his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo collected his second consecutive podium finish for third, having hounded Lewis Hamilton to the flag as the Briton struggled with a visibility issue late in the race.
Christian Horner applauded the Australian’s efforts after a poor race start, and was encouraged to see Red Bull scrapping with the Mercedes cars on track, in a definite sign of progress for the Milton Keynes-based outfit.
“Daniel was amazing, considering where he was after the first lap,” said Horner. “We got a little bit lucky with the puncture for Raikkonen. But his pace was very good. He looked after the tyres well and pushed hard at the end of the race.
“He was certainly quicker than Lewis, but no chance to overtake.”
“It was certainly the closest we’ve been. So we’re getting there. It’s the first time this year we’ve been racing a Mercedes, so it’s definitely a step in the right direction.”
“So I think we take a lot of confidence out of that.
Despite Red Bull’s Monaco improvement, Horner remains less confident for the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix owing to the high-speed nature of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, which is likely to play to the strengths of the Mercedes-powered teams.
It’s going to be very interesting to see how we fare against the Mercedes powered teams in Montreal,” he added.
“You’re going from one extreme to the other.
“Here’s all about handling characteristics, the next event will be predominantly straightline performance.”
Images courtesy of Octane Photographic