Horner hails 'miraculous' Red Bull turnaround

Daniel Ricciardo's qualifying involvement looked in doubt until his Red Bull mechanics pulled off a "miraculous" repair job.

Red Bull mechanics work on Daniel Ricciardo's car.   -  Getty Images

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has heaped praise on the mechanics who repaired Daniel Ricciardo's car in time for qualifying at the Chinese Grand Prix, describing it as a "Herculean" effort.

Ricciardo will start from sixth in Shanghai on Sunday but his involvement in Saturday's session had been in serious doubt after a turbo issue during FP3 sent smoke and flames billowing from the rear of his RB14.

In a desperate bid to get the Australian back out on the track, Ricciardo's mechanics enlisted the help of those in team-mate Max Verstappen's garage.

And their hard work was rewarded with a competitive display, as Ricciardo finished less than two tenths down on his Dutch colleague in a session dominated by the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, who qualified first and second respectively.

"What they have achieved today is miraculous, getting the engine turned around, dressed and onto the car. It was Herculean," Horner told Sky Sports.

"Seeing Max's mechanics as well diving in when and where they could, that is what a team is all about.

"That was the biggest result of qualifying for us, actually achieving that feat.

"Fifth and sixth and we were pretty close to Mercedes. Ferrari have tremendous pace here this weekend. We will be starting the race on a different tyre and strategically that could be quite interesting."

Ricciardo added: "I'm happy to have got out in qualifying and I want to thank the mechanics for doing such a great job.

"I think they have broken their own record for an engine change several times and they did it again today.

"It got to 2pm and the guys were saying get ready, but we didn't think it was going to happen. I didn't expect to get out but I was ready to go and excited when I did.

"What happened this morning wasn't the mechanics' fault but they had all the pressure to put the new engine in the car in time and they did very well."

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