Christian Horner admits Red Bull didn't realise just how quick Daniel Ricciardo is

Australian has out-performed Sebastian Vettel thus far; Ricciardo leads 5-1 in qualy and race results over World Champion in 2014

By William Esler.   Last Updated: 27/05/14 9:22am

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Christian Horner admits Red Bull "didn't realise how quick" Daniel Ricciardo was when they picked him to succeed Mark Webber in 2014.

The Australian fought off competition from Kimi Raikkonen and Jean-Eric Vergne to secure the vacant seat at the World Champions and he has made an immediate impact out-qualifying and out-racing Sebastian Vettel 5-1.

"Daniel has been a real surprise this year," Horner told Sky Sports F1. "We knew he was quick - we just didn't realise how quick. And he is so cool as well, he is quick, he's good looking, he has got everything going for him."

Ricciardo was once again the best of the rest behind the two Mercedes cars in Monaco, but his boss thinks he had the edge on second-placed Lewis Hamilton.

"Once he got free air after Kimi had his issue his pace was excellent," he added. "He paced himself through the middle part of the race then pushed at the end and really had the upper hand on Lewis. But around here you are never going to really be able to pass.

"For the first time this year we were actually racing them and I think if we had qualified better we could have given them a harder time. But it is definitely a positive step for the team this weekend, we have taken the fight to them a little bit more and there is more to come."

Whilst Horner feels that the Australian's pace was better, he is realistic enough to know that finding a way past on the tight confines of the Monaco circuit was unlikely admitting that only when Hamilton's eye issue became apparent did he think they had a chance.

"When he said he got a bit of rubbish in his eye and started to slow down, but with a driver of Lewis' quality you know he is not going to give up a second place easily," he said.

"It doesn't matter how fast you are, overtaking is another thing."

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