Ricciardo hungry to return to the podium

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Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo has vowed to bounce back from his disqualification at the Australian Grand Prix last weekend, believing that the team is in a battle to be the second fastest team in Formula 1 at the moment.

Ricciardo produced a stunning drive in Melbourne to finish in second place on his Red Bull debut, and became the first Australian driver in the modern era to stand on the podium at his home grand prix. However, soon after the race finished, the stewards found that the fuel flow on Ricciardo’s #3 RB10 exceeded the maximum rate of 100kg/h, and called the team before the stewards.

After five hours of deliberations, Ricciardo was disqualified and stripped of his first podium finish in Formula 1. Although he conceded that it was not the fairytale beginning to his Red Bull career, Ricciardo was still buoyed by the result, and expressed his delight in an interview with redbull.com.

“Yeah – [the disqualification] put a bit of a downer on what had been a brilliant day,” he explained. “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.

“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.”

Despite enduring a disastrous pre-season period, the team showed good pace in Australia, and Ricciardo is confident that he can reach the podium in the next few races thanks to the potential of the RB10 car.

“We’re in the battle to be the second-best team,” he added. “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.

“Albert Park’s made me hungry to get on the podium again, and I think we’ve got a really good chance of doing it.”

Red Bull confirmed yesterday that its appeal against Ricciardo’s disqualification has been formally lodged with the FIA, although a decision is not expected for at least another three weeks.

Kanaan, Dixon to rejoin Chip Ganassi Le Mans effort

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Both Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan will be rejoining Ford Chip Ganassi Racing as part of their four-car armada at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, the team revealed late last week. Both drivers contested the event last year, with Dixon in the No. 69 entry – finishing seventh in the GTE Pro class – while Kanaan replaced an injured Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 68 – finishing sixth in GTE Pro.

For Kanaan, this also represents a return to the Chip Ganassi organization, with which he contested the Verizon IndyCar Series from 2014 to 2017 before departing for A.J. Foyt Racing in 2018.

Kanaan will join Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell in the No. 67, while Dixon will reunite with Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook, the three drivers having won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, in the No. 69.

Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla, and Billy Johnson will share the No. 66 entry, with Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, and Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 68.

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