No matter the outcome of Red Bull’s expected appeal of the FIA’s decision to disqualify him from the Australian Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo is going to keep his head up.
The ever-smiling Australian brought his countrymen to their feet Saturday night in Melbourne with an apparent runner-up performance.
But a few hours after savoring the applause on the podium at Albert Park, the FIA ruled that Ricciardo’s No. 3 Red Bull-Renault had exceeded the fuel flow limit during the race and stripped him of his result.
Still, Ricciardo told The West Australian newspaper that his strong effort will spur him on for the rest of the 2014 Formula One World Championship.
“Disqualification is frustrating, but it doesn’t take away the moment up there on the podium,” said Ricciardo, who added that he “would have rather taken the DQ than had a poor race – full stop.”
“It’s hard for me to be that happy right now but at the same time, looking at the big picture, I am happy with what I did. I think that’ll go a long way for the rest of the season.”
His boss, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, has declared that Red Bull did nothing wrong and that other teams have had problems with the FIA-issued fuel flow sensor at the center of the controversy.
Red Bull swapped the FIA sensor for one of its own after Friday practice, but after their sensor failed in qualifying, they were told to switch back to the FIA sensor and the team put an offset on it.
However, Horner says that during the race, a discrepancy still emerged between the sensor’s reading and what the fuel flow was being stated as.
The FIA’s official steward report says that Red Bull was given an opportunity to reduce the fuel flow “such that it was within the limit, as measured by the homologated sensor” during the race.
The appeal may not be heard for some time, but Ricciardo has noted his team’s confidence.
“Otherwise they wouldn’t [challenge the FIA’s decision],” he said to the paper. “It’s a lot of time for them and some money as well so they have confidence that we can turn it around, but it’s going to take a while until we know.
“They feel that it’s not black or white, it’s a little bit shaded, so that’s why they’re going to fight it and we’ll see how they go. Nonetheless, they gave me a lot of encouragement about my results.”