Daniel Ricciardo celebrates after finishing on the podium at the Spanish GP. (Photo: Getty Images)

celebrates after finishing on the podium at the . (Photo: Getty Images)

Red Bull Racing underlined its position as the team pursuing Mercedes as Daniel Ricciardo led the chase with his third place in Barcelona.

Even better news for the team was that drove a superb race from 15th to fourth, indicating that he finally feels at home in the RB10.

“It’s very encouraging that we’ve had a positive race today,” said . “The 48s gap is slightly artificial because we lost a lot of time behind the Williams in the first stint, and then once you find yourself in no man’s land it’s about managing the tires to the end of the race. So if you look at the last stints in particular when Mercedes were pushing flat out, and Sebastian and Daniel had a bit of clear air, we’ve definitely moved a bit closer.

“There’s still some way to go, but we have definitely moved a bit closer. And for sure they were pushing as hard as they could, so it wasn’t like Mercedes were taking it easy. It’s a significant gap that we’ve still got to overcome, but great to see that we have made progress, and taken a step ahead of the Ferraris and the rest of the field.

Horner was full of praise for Vettel after his impressive charge: “It was a great performance by Seb today, he really went for it. He passed pretty much everywhere, apart from the conventional place at the end of the straight. He made the strategy work for him, he knew he had to make the passes. I thought it was a fantastic drive by him today.

“This weekend you could see in the race, the recovery drive he had, fastest lap, the way he hunted down the Ferraris, it looked like he’s got his mojo back.”

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