BACKING HIS 'MATES': Daniel Ricciardo said he thought the men who drank beers from a shoe while celebrating in swimsuits was 'harmless fun'. Image: AP / The Canadian Press
Tokyo - Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo has voiced support for a group of fellow Australians who have been detained in Malaysia following his Sepang race win.
Nine men have been in custody since being detained by authorities for stripping to Malaysian flag-decorated underwear beneath the podium last Sunday (October 1).
Police have said the Australians are charged with public indecency and "intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of peace" and face jail.
Sepang race winner, Australian and Red Bull driver Ricciardo was asked about the incident by the Huffington Post as he prepares for this weekend's grand prix in Japan.
The Australian said: "Obviously I'm aware of it, but at the time I wasn't.
"At the time they thought it was a bit of harmless fun, and were enjoying the celebrations. It was a while since I won and they were excited. They didn't realise the effect it would have on the locals."
Ricciardo added: "It's a shame but they were in the moment."
Watch: Aussie F1 fans having a 'shoey'