Ricciardo: Nice to be up there

Saturday 15-March-2014 08:09

Daniel Ricciardo was arguably the happiest driver in the paddock on Saturday evening as the Aussie secured his first front row grid slot and did it at home.

Just two weeks ago the world was writing off Red Bull's chances at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix as the team struggled to string together a set of laps in the RB10.

That, though, all changed in Melbourne this weekend where Red Bull not only demonstrated reliability but also pace.

And it was Ricciardo, the newcomer at Red Bull, who had the better of the running.

Putting in the laps in Q3 in the wet, Ricciardo opted to run on intermediate tyres and posted a 1:44.548 which put him second on the grid.

It was the 24-year-old's first front row starting position.

"It was exciting, definitely the weather added to the mix," said the Aussie.

"The whole session went well. Not everyone was out with the options in the beginning, Q1 looked like it was going OK for us.

"When the rain fell, it was the first time we have all driven on the limit in wet conditions. It was tricky but at the same time a lot of fun.

"It's nice to be always up there, setting times which put us in the battle for pole. It's nice for me and also for the team."

But while Ricciardo excelled, his team-mate Sebastian Vettel faltered.

The reigning World Champion finished down in 13th place, not able to find the pace needed to get through into Q3.

"I don't know yet what Sebastian's issues were," said Ricciardo.

"I saw he was about two seconds off my pace at time he went out. We'll have to see what happened.

"But for now, I'm so happy for me to be up here and for the team to have a car on the front row. It wasn't looking like this a few weeks ago so I'm pretty pleased right now."

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