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2014-03-22 12:15

RICCIARDO - STILL SMILING: Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo might be off the podium (at least for now) but not off his cheerful form. Image: AFP


LONDON, England - It will take a lot more than disqualification from his 2014 home Australian Formula 1 GP to wipe the smile off Red Bull new boy Daniel Ricciardo's face.

The ever cheerful 24-year-old has said on the team's website that being stripped of second place in Melbourne on March 16 had put "a bit of a downer" on his day but there was still plenty to be happy about.

"Actually it's mostly positives: I did a good job in the car and I got to stand on the Australian GP podium - and nobody's taking the sensation of doing that away. What happens next (the steward's decision is being contested) is outside of my
ability to control."


Another positive: "I'd rather it went down like this than to 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."

The Red Bull team said on Thursday (March 20) that it had submitted a formal appeal in a bid to have Ricciardo re-instated. The appeal is to be heard on April 14.

The Australian, who replaced compatriot Mark Webber as team mate to quadruple F1 champion Sebastian Vettel at the start of the 2014 season, was ruled out five hours after the race because his car was alleged to have had an illegal fuel-flow rate.

Vettel, however, retired after three laps with problems with his car's new turbocharged V6 Renault 'power unit'. The race was won by Mercedes' Nico Rosberg.


Ricciardo said he was hungry to get back on the podium. "The RB10 surprised us by being pretty competitive in the dry and very competitive in the wet. It's going to get much better as we dial it in over the next few races. 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 we'll be able to close the gap to Mercedes once we really get into the set-up of the car. Mercedes will improve too but I think we're in a good position to take bigger strides."

Red Bull, dominant in 2013 with Vettel winning the last nine races, struggled in 2014 pre-season testing and had not done a full race simulation before arriving in Melbourne.

The second round of the season will be in Malaysia on March 30.

Read more on:    red bull  |  mercedes  |  ricciardo  |  melbourne  |  formula 1

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