Daniel Ricciardo says his disqualification doesn’t dent the pride he feels after his career-first appearance on a Formula One race podium.
The 24-year-old West Australian driver was stripped of his second placing more than five hours after Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix when stewards declared his Red Bull team breached the rules, using too much fuel during his race.
While Red Bull will appeal the outcome, on Monday Ricciardo was trying not to let his first F1 disqualification cloud his best result in the sport in his debut for his new team.
“I still feel obviously really good about what I did. It doesn’t change much,” said Ricciardo.
“But obviously it would be nice to get the 18 points. I still stood there (on the podium) and that was a great feeling.”
Ricciardo was not in the mood to speculate on the outcome of potentially lengthy and technical appeal to earn back his championship points.
“We’ll see what happens. I’m not really in a mindspace to talk about it right now,” he said.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner echoed the FIA stewards’ report which cleared Ricciardo of any wrong-doing, vowing to fight a ruling that left the reigning champions without any points from the grand prix.
“It’s extremely disappointing that this has happened, it’s certainly no fault of Daniel’s,” Horner said.
“The next steps are that a date will be set for the hearing, which will no be doubt be in Paris, and we will present our case.
“I believe we have been compliant with the rules and the investigation and documents that will be submitted within the appeal will demonstrate that.”
Former F1 team boss Paul Stoddart is another in Ricciardo’s corner, saying he should keep his championship points even if his team is docked on appeal, though he believes Red Bull will be vindicated.
“Daniel did not gain any advantage and that will be proven by Red Bull in their appeal,” Stoddart said.
“We’ve had precedence before, where a driver’s deemed to have been completely innocent of an issue… and they’ve disqualified the team’s points but left the driver’s position intact.”
“Hopefully we will see Daniel’s points reinstated.”
Ricciardo’s expulsion was a consequence of the introduction of controversial rule changes for the 2014 season, which limit fuel use, downsized car engines and changed car aerodynamics.
Australian grand prix chief executive Andrew Westacott was among those disappointed with the lacklustre sound of the new car, considering seeking some redress.
“We pay for a product, we’ve got contracts in place, we are looking at those very, very seriously because we reckon there has probably been some breaches,” Westacott told Fairfax Radio.
“What was lacking was the sexiness and the appeal of the noise.”
“I was able to stand on pit wall at the start of the race without ear plugs… previously, it shakes the bones.”
Westacott said he was disappointed by Ricciardo’s fate but no one was complaining about the race itself.
“Of course I want him to keep second place, I’m a bit gutted by it, but that’s sport and funny things happen,” he said.
“Formula One is about entertainment and it’s about sexy entertainment. Yesterday the racing quality was second to none.”