Daniel Ricciardo is heading to next weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix in good spirits despite the saga surrounding his disqualification from the Australian Grand Prix rumbling on in the background of the race.
The Australian driver finished his home race in second place, but was eventually disqualified after the stewards found that Red Bull had exceeded the maximum permitted fuel flow of 100kg/h on the #3 car.
The team protested its innocence and has since appealed, with a hearing set to take place on April 14 that will decide Ricciardo’s fate. However, the unflappable Aussie is still riding high heading to Malaysian next weekend.
“Despite the eventual outcome in Melbourne, I still feel really good about my performance in the race and throughout the weekend,” Ricciardo explained.
“Obviously it would be nice to get the 18 points, but I’m happy that I still stood on the podium and that was a great feeling. I know I did a good job and I can take that with me to the next race in Malaysia.”
One of the biggest challenges posed by the race in Kuala Lumpur is the heat and humidity, and Ricciardo explained in the team’s grand prix preview how it was something he and the other drivers have to prepare themeselves for.
“Until you’ve experienced the heat in the cockpit, it isn’t something you can fully appreciate, no matter what people tell you,” he said. “It’s something you prepare for better as you come back again and again, though it’s still one of the most physically-challenging races.
“If you’re not correctly prepared then the last 20 laps of a grand prix will be difficult and the physicality of the race can hit your concentration in those latter stages.”
The weather at the Malaysian Grand Prix is often impossible to predict. The race is held in monsoon season, meaning that conditions usually range from extreme heat and humidity to heavy downpours – or even both across the course of a single race.