Daniel Ricciardo’s headline grabbing second place finish at the season opening Australian Grand Prix was a short-lived experience for the ever smiling, popular Red Bull driver.
Nevertheless it lasted long enough for him and to enjoy a memorable podium ceremony, talk from the heart in the post race press conference, savour the fact that he had just scored his first Formula 1 podium in his first race as a Red Bull driver and also become the first Aussie to stand on the top step of a podium on home soil – but a few hours later he was robbed of these accolades as FIA stewards disqualified him for a fuel flow infringement.
Needless to say Ricciardo was disappointed with what transpired, but he took it on the chin and remains very proud of what he achieved at Albert Park.
Speaking on Monday after the race, Ricciardo said, “I still feel obviously really good about what I did. It doesn’t change much. But obviously it would be nice to get the 18 points. I still stood there [on the podium] and that was a great feeling.”
Red Bull have said that they will appeal the decision, but Ricciardo is not prepared to speculate about the outcome of the legal proceedings. As it stands there is a zero beside his name on the championship table, instead of 18 points.
“We’ll see what happens. I’m not really in a mind space to talk about it right now,” he told reporters.
But when pressed about the grounds of the appeal he added, “It’s a lot of time for them and some money as well so they have confidence that we can turn it around, but it’s going to take a while until we know.”
“They feel that it’s not black or white, it’s a little bit shaded, so that’s why they’re going to fight it and we’ll see how they go.”
In the end Ricciardo was an innocent victim in the whole fuel flow saga, his job is to drive very fast and bring the car home in one piece. This he did impressively.
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner insisted, “It’s extremely disappointing that this has happened, it’s certainly no fault of Daniel’s.”
On Monday Ricciardo flew to Perth to spend quiet time with his family, before heading off to Kuala Lumpur for the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend starting on 28 March. (GP247)
Subbed by AJN.