Red Bull Racing had a mixed start to the new F1 season, with Daniel Ricciardo finishing fourth at his home race, and teammate Daniil Kvyat failing to start.
The Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne saw Ricciardo have a good race after starting from eight on the grid and from dropping a place on the start. He was also at one point ahead of the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, and while overtaken late on by the reigning world champion, Ricciardo got in ahead of his rivals to take the best of the non-podium finishers.
Speaking after the race, he said, “Today was fun for me, it was so good to be back racing. I came on the radio more than once expressing my joy to just being out there competing. That joy was emphasized by having a good car underneath me.
“We had good pace with high fuel on the option and it was fun to be able to pass cars, I was enjoying that as always. I was sitting in a podium spot towards the end and I was hoping the tyres would last but I knew they weren’t going to hold and I would have to pit again. But fourth is still a good result and I’m happy we’re not that far off Mercedes and Ferrari..”
Kvyat’s race was more fruitless, as an CU-H failure meant his car was unable to start. In his post-race comments, Kvyat said he was hoping for better out of the next Grand Prix, which is in Bahrain. He also spoke of his relief Fernando Alonso walked away unharmed after a massive crash on lap 17 that saw a red flag bought out.
The Russian said, “I’m glad Fernando is OK, it looked like a very bad accident and it’s a relief to know that he is alright.
“In terms of my day, it looks like an electronic issue put us out of the race before it started. I think Australia doesn’t seem to be the luckiest place for me so far. The car just shut itself off – I guess it didn’t want to do the race today, but we’ll be back in Bahrain and we’ll start again from there!”