Red Bull Racing was left celebrating the best result of its brief Formula 1 history at the end of a chaotic European Grand Prix, with both cars finishing inside the top five and Mark Webber scoring only the second rostrum of both his and RBR's careers.

Both drivers kept their heads in the ever-changing conditions at the N?rburgring - with David Coulthard even surviving a spin on the opening lap - to more than double the Milton Keynes-based outfit's 2007 points total and vault Red Bull above Toyota in the constructors' title chase following a frustrating opening half to the campaign marred by persistent reliability woes. What's more, the performance came in front of the team's special guest for the weekend, film director Quentin Tarantino.

"This is a podium I can enjoy on a special day for us," Webber enthused afterwards. "The team deserves it after all the effort that has taken place behind the scenes. It's great to get some points on the board, especially as David finished fifth as well.

"I didn't have a good start and was on the back foot, and the rain certainly came much earlier than we expected. We had to make a quick decision and went for the intermediates, but as the rain got much worse we were aquaplaning really badly. The FIA took the right decisions in bringing out the safety car and then suspending the race.

"I did a long run on the grooved tyres which helped me pull away from the guys behind, even if I struggled a bit in the middle stint with the rears. I have to say I wasn't too disappointed to see Kimi (Raikkonen) retire. Towards the end I began to think I had it in the bag, but I thought 'oh God' when I saw the rain coming again. In the final part I had massive vibration from the rear tyres and that's why Alex (Wurz) got so close."

Indeed, the Australian came perilously near to throwing it away in the very final corner of the race, after a small mistake almost let Williams star Wurz past, and he had to hold a particularly tight line over the closing yards to protect his third place. Coulthard, for his part, had to come from some 14 places further down the grid than his team-mate, but a composed and intelligent performance saw him finish just eight seconds adrift of Webber at the chequered flag after the two RB3s had battled hard in the early-to-mid stages.

"I'm very happy for the team," the Scot underlined. "It's obviously been a difficult start to the year with some reliability issues, but nonetheless to show the pace we did in this race was good and the calls we made on strategy were a credit to the team; the pit-stops were great.

"After such a bad qualifying, it was only ever going to be a change of conditions like these that was going to give us a chance to move forward, and we ended with a podium and a fifth place for me."

Team principal Christian Horner was equally overjoyed with the outcome of the race, one he knew was long overdue following top ten qualifying performances in all-but two grands prix so far in 2007.

"It was a fantastic team result today," the former racer remarked. "Today was all about teamwork - the drivers, the work on the pit call, the work in the pit-stops - everyone did a fantastic job. I'm very, very pleased for Mark; after such rotten luck during the first half of the season he finally got a result he deserved.

"David had a fantastic recovery from a disappointing qualifying session. The guys did their bit on the circuit today as did the team in the pit-lane, and I'm very proud of everybody. It's a great result for the whole team."

"We are delighted with today's result," added Renault principal track support engineer Fabrice Lom. "It's a great moment for the whole team, especially after the mixed feelings we had yesterday after qualifying. We had a strong package, the drivers did a fantastic job in the changing conditions and our strategy worked perfectly.

"It was a podium that we earned on merit. This result puts us in front of Toyota and helps us reduce the gap to Williams. I think everybody in the team will be pushing with renewed determination for the next race in Hungary."

 

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