Ricciardo buoyed by first ever front row
15 March 2014 – Daniel Ricciardo marked his graduation to Red Bull by securing the first front row start of his Formula 1 career during Saturday's qualifying session for the Australian Grand Prix.
After a disastrous pre-season test period, Red Bull enjoyed a much improved start to the Melbourne weekend, with both Ricciardo and team-mate Sebastian Vettel running firmly inside the top ten throughout practice.
And when rainfall arrived in the early stages of qualifying, Ricciardo took full advantage; while Vettel dropped out in Q2, the Australian progressed to the shootout and came close to securing pole position.
"It was exciting. The weather definitely added to the mix," said Ricciardo, who trailed pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton by three tenths of a second.
"The whole session went well; Q1 looked like it was going OK and when the rain fell, it was the first time we've driven these on the limit in the wet. My engineer was saying on the radio P1, P2, P3, battle for pole position and it's nice to be there on my first race with the team."
Ricciardo says he is unsure as to why Vettel was unable to join him in Q3, but added that he is pleased to have provided his new team with a positive result after its recent struggles.
"I saw Seb was about 2 seconds slower so well have to see what went wrong on his side," said Ricciardo. "But I'm happy for me to be up here and for the team to have a front row start. It wasn't looking like this a few weeks ago."