By Abhishek Takle
HOCKENHEIM, Germany (Reuters) - Resurgent Red Bull replaced Ferrari as the best-of-the-rest behind Mercedes after racing to their first double-podium in over a year in Sunday's German Formula One Grand Prix.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo, driving in his 100th F1 race, crossed the line behind winner Lewis Hamilton, to score his second podium in succession ahead of Dutch team mate Max Verstappen who finished third.
The result - the former world champion team’s first double podium since last year's Hungarian Grand Prix - saw Red Bull vault past Ferrari in the constructors' standings with a 14-point advantage over their Italian rivals.
“Our objective was to go into the summer break ahead of Ferrari,” said team principal Christian Horner. “We’ve managed to do that this weekend with a... double podium which was beyond all of our expectations coming into this type of circuit.”
Sunday saw the latest in a string of strong performances from Red Bull who have bounced back from a woeful 2015 season characterised by a bitter public falling out with engine supplier Renault.
The team, which won four titles in a row between 2010 and 2013, started this year slower than Ferrari.
But improvements to the Renault engine and Ferrari’s fading form has seen Red Bull overhaul the sport’s most successful team, having trailed them by 37 points four races ago.
“I think we’ve put a positive front of results together,” said Horner, whose team broke Mercedes stranglehold on victory with Max Verstappen’s triumph in May’s Spanish Grand Prix.
“We’ve had great performances at a variance of circuits... and I think that bodes well for the second part of the season.”
Ricciardo had extra cause to be pleased.
The 27-year-old beat Verstappen — who was asked to let the Australian past as he was on a different strategy — for the second consecutive race after being outraced by the 18-year-old Dutch sensation in four of their six previous races together.
“Two weekends in a row now it’s a podium,” said Ricciardo who celebrated by drinking champagne from his boot. “We’re now second in the constructors’. It’s a really good effort.”
(Editing by Ken Ferris)