Daniel Ricciardo celebrates on the podium before being disqualified for breaching fuel consumption rules. (Photo: Getty Images)

celebrates on the podium before being disqualified for breaching fuel consumption rules. (Photo: Getty Images)

Red Bull boss says that Daniel Ricciardo’s brilliant drive in Melbourne will be a major boost for the Aussie’s confidence.

Ricciardo finished second before he was excluded, having not put a foot wrong all weekend.

“I think it should give him a great injection of confidence,” Horner said before the controversy erupted. “He’s been immensely impressive this weekend. The pressure of a home race in front of a demanding crowd, the first race, a debut in a new team. He’s not been in the spotlight when you’re racing in the mid grid like that, and he was perfect all weekend.

“What I was most impressed about was his communication from the car, how calm and relaxed he was. He’s fighting for second place and it didn’t even sound like he’d broken into a sweat out there. That was very reminiscent of exactly how Sebastian (Vettel) is, so really encouraging.”

When asked why the gap between Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen had see-sawed, he said: “I think it looked like it turned up the boost and power on Magnussen’s car, and then obviously he had to maybe conserve a bit of fuel later on. It’s a bit like poker in terms of how you use your fuel. We just wanted to make sure we had enough left to cover any challenge at the end of the race.”

Horner said that the race had been uneventful for the Aussie, despite a scare just before the start.

“It was absolutely remarkable, free of any real issue. We had a drama when he left the garage, where the turbo didn’t work, so we had to get the car back in to reset and basically power cycle the car, and it seemed to come back to life. So there was a drama as we were going out to the grid, but that fixed itself and didn’t reappear.”

In contrast it was a tricky weekend for Sebastian Vettel: “Both had new power units that went on Friday, both ran OK on Friday. There were a couple of issues software related yesterday, and then a combustion unit issue today. I guess it was the same with (Lewis) Hamilton, of all the Mercedes his was the only one that didn’t finish, yet you’d expect his to be the one that did.”

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