Daniel Ricciardo’s season with Red Bull could hardly have got off to a more unfortunate start, with his exclusion from the Australian GP followed by the pit drama in Malaysia – which has in turn triggered a 10-place penalty that will ruin his Bahrain weekend.
Nevertheless the Aussie has done an awesome job in the cockpit and convinced any sceptics that Red Bull has chosen a worthy replacement for Mark Webber.
“I definitely feel disappointed,” he said of his curtailed race. “It was looking like we could have a solid points finish, and the race was going pretty well. The start was really good and I made up a couple of positions. I was starting to mix it up at the front, which was nice, it’s fun being up there and fighting for the top few spots. But then at the last pit stop we had an issue, and we had a puncture, a front wing failure. A few other things went on, and then the stop and go. So it went pretty quickly for us from looking good to looking pretty bad in a short matter of time.”
In typical style he’s seeing the positives: “Deep down I’m really disappointed, but at the same time there’s a little bit in me which is happy, because in the first two races I’ve come out how I’ve wanted to. Obviously I still want to improve, but we started off on the right foot. So for that I’m pleased, and I know a little bit of luck will turn around soon, and I’ll get my revenge and get some points.”
In Malaysia he showed that he wasn’t afraid to mix it with the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, which bodes well for the future.
“A lot of people probably don’t expect it because I’m always the happy guy and smiling, they think I’m too nice for that, but I’m here to race and I love racing up the front. It’s been a privilege but a lot of fun for the last couple of rounds to do it. It’s a bit addicting, I want more, so you’ll see me up there plenty of times this year.”