Red Bull 'really encouraged' by Melbourne pace

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Christian Horner is encouraged by the fact Red Bull was matching the pace of Ferrari at one point during the Australian Grand Prix.

While Daniil Kvyat's car failed to make the grid, Daniel Ricciardo turned in a solid drive to finish fourth in front of his home crowd. In the seven laps before his final stop Ricciardo and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel were both on the soft tyre and Horner says the team gathered some positive comparative data.

"We were competitive," Horner said. "When Ricciardo was in clean air on the same tyres he was doing the same lap times as Seb. So some really encouraging factors. We got the strategy right today, and good pit stops so it was a solid performance.

"It was a very good drive by Ricciardo. The pace that we had in the race was actually really encouraging. If you look at the pace on the different sets of tyre compounds, we look pretty competitive. Certainly the third fastest car in the race and not too far from Ferrari kind of pace, so those were the real positive aspects of the race for us. The tyre scenario has made it a bit more interesting, taking different strategies, so that is a positive thing. It was a good race."

Horner is impressed with how Red Bull looks in race trim but knows there is a lot of progress to be made in terms of the entire package.

"For sure we made a bit of progress, particularly in the race condition, less so in qualifying. If we get the next step that we are all hoping for then that is going to move us into a more competitive position, but fundamentally the chassis is working very well. The degradation on the tires has been very good. Our stint lengths seemed as long as the best."