MELBOURNE, Australia - Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo can't wait to get back behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car to bid for redemption at his home Australian Grand Prix where a controversial disqualification robbed him of his first podium at the start of the 2014 season.
BURNING RUBBER, SHINING TEETH: This was Melbourne in 2014 when Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified after winning his first F1 race. Image: AFP
Ricciardo thrilled home fans with second at Albert Park in March 2014 but the result was cancelled due to a fuel-consumption technicality. Red Bull appealed but the disqualification stood.
Ricciardo recovered to win three times in 2014 and said the disappointment had spurred him on.
'FUELLED THE FIRE'
"Looking back, what happened on Sunday night here, if anything, just fuelled a bigger fire which was already in me," Ricciardo told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday at the launch of the 2015 Australian GP. "It served me well for the rest of the season. It gave me a taste and then took it away, so it made me want to get back there.
"I'm already hanging out for March to try and get a little redemption."
Ricciardo came third in the 2014 championship behind Mercedes' winner Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg but won plenty of admirers by outshining his four-times champion team mate Sebastian Vettel, since departed for Ferrari.
LOST THE SPOT
From being the new boy during two years with Red Bull's feeder team Toro Rosso, 25-year-old Ricciardo will be the senior driver in 2015 with new Russian team mate Daniil Kvyat in the garage.
Red Bull lost its Constructors' title to Mercedes in 2014 is desperate to get it back. "I wouldn't say (the team) is furious but it's lost the No.1 spot this year," Ricciardo said. "When you have something taken from you, obviously it's a bit like the podium in Melbourne - it fuels a fire.
"I know the team's hungrier than ever to get back on top - hungrier than everybody else, right now."