It should have been a joyous occasion. Daniel Ricciardo, the new face of Red Bull alongside four-time defending World Champion teammate Sebastian Vettel, had qualified and finished second in the season opening Australian Grand Prix.
After more than a decade of Mark Webber’s near misses and frequent bad luck in his home race, Ricciardo delivered the perfect story line switch with a storybook team debut.
Only it was too good.
The Australian was disqualified several hours after the race for exceeding the newly mandated maximum fuel flow rate.
It wiped out what had been an excellent first outing for Ricciardo in the lead Red Bull team after two full years with Toro Rosso.
It also continued a spell of unlucky results for Australians in their home Grand Prix at Melbourne.
Webber was only once able to better his best Australian GP finish set on his Grand Prix debut in 2002 with Minardi, when he finished fifth. A solitary fourth in 2012 didn’t have the same allure or appeal that the fifth with the underdog team did, as it was their first points-scoring finish since the 1999 European Grand Prix.
As it is, with Ricciardo now the sole native son waving the flag in Australia, here’s a rundown of the results since Webber’s 2002 debut.
- 2014: Ricciardo (Red Bull) DQ
- 2013: Webber (Red Bull) 6th, Ricciardo (Toro Rosso) DNF
- 2012: Webber (Red Bull) 4th, Ricciardo (Toro Rosso) 9th
- 2011: Webber (Red Bull) 5th
- 2010: Webber (Red Bull) 9th
- 2009: Webber (Red Bull) 12th
- 2008: Webber (Red Bull) DNF
- 2007: Webber (Red Bull) 13th
- 2006: Webber (Williams) DNF
- 2005: Webber (Williams) 5th
- 2004: Webber (Jaguar) DNF
- 2003: Webber (Jaguar) DNF
- 2002: Webber (Minardi) 5th