- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- Australian racing driver
Daniel Ricciardo says he will take Sunday's Australian Grand Prix disqualification on the chin but nothing can take away his moment on the podium.
The WA Formula One driver arrived in Perth from Melbourne late yesterday as his Red Bull team were preparing to challenge the accusation Ricciardo's Renault-powered car exceeded the maximum allowed fuel flow at Albert Park.
Making his first trip home since Christmas, Ricciardo said the next few days would be spent with his personal trainer and his focus had already switched to the next race in Malaysia on March 30.
"I'm happy to be home but during the season it's business time," he said. "I'm just focusing on Malaysia and trying to get back on the podium."
Ricciardo said the 80-odd minutes from the end of the race until the time he was told of the investigation over a fuel irregularity was something he would never forget.
"Disqualification is frustrating but it doesn't take away the moment up there on the podium," he said. "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."
The driver from Duncraig spent more than 10 minutes signing autographs and taking photos with fans at the airport yesterday.
He said members of his Red Bull team had apologised for the disqualification. He added the team was confident of having the ruling overturned.
"Otherwise they wouldn't (challenge) it. 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," Ricciardo said.
"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.
"I would have rather taken the DQ than had a poor race full stop. A good showing at home was nice and in any case a boost of confidence for the rest of the season."
Friend Michael Patrizi, who raced alongside the Red Bull driver in the Formula Three Euro Series in 2007, was with the star's parents Joe and Grace Ricciardo in the stands at Albert Park as the local hero crossed the line in second place to rapturous applause.
He said the eventual disqualification had taken nothing away from a "faultless" drive, with any blame resting with the team.
"This won't knock his confidence," Patrizi said. "This will only make him hungrier."