Ricciardo won't forget Aussie podium

Friday 21-March-2014 07:21

He may have lost his runner-up result in the classification but Daniel Ricciardo says he will remember his Australian GP podium for a long time.

Joining Red Bull Racing from junior team Toro Rosso, Ricciardo pulled off what many believed two weeks prior would be impossible - he finished on the podium at the season-opening Australian GP.

Having suffered numerous trials and tribulations during pre-season testing, Ricciardo's RB10 was not only reliable in Melbourne, completing more laps in one run than it had in testing, it also showed pace.

The Aussie crossed the line in second place, 24s behind Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, to secure the first top-three result of his Formula One career.

"I'm not sure enjoy is the right word," he told the team's official website when asked if he 'enjoyed the podium ceremony'. "With Alan Jones doing the podium interview it all felt very surreal.

"A bit far-fetched actually - genuinely an unbelievable moment - and something I won't forget in a hurry."

However, the joy turned to disappointment when the Aussie's RB10 was found to have "consistently exceeded" the fuel flow rate.

Hours later Ricciardo was official disqualified from the grand prix.

"That puts a bit of a downer on what had been a brilliant day," he said. "It's not how I imagined celebrating after my first F1 podium.

"I still went out to catch up with a couple of mates but it's fair to say the mood wasn't as wild as it might have been."

Despite losing his P2 and the 18 World Championship points, Ricciardo insists it was still a positive day on a personal note as he proved he could reach the podium.

"Actually it's mostly positives," he said, "I did a good job in the car and I got to stand on the Australian Grand Prix podium - and no-one's taking the sensation of doing that away.

"What happens next is outside of my ability to control but honestly, I'd rather it went down like this than have retired from the race with a mechanical problem.

"I'll take a podium and a subsequent disqualification over that any day of the week."

As for the future, Ricciardo says there's still a lot of work to do at Red Bull before they join the fight to be the best team in Formula One.

"At the moment, we're in the battle to be the second-best team. Obviously that isn't where we want to be but it's exceeding our expectations of only a few weeks ago.

"I think once we really get into the setup of the car, we'll be able to close the gap to Mercedes. Obviously they're going to improve too but I think we're in a good position to make bigger strides."

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