Ricciardo 'hungry' to get back on podium
21 March 2014 – Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo says he is "hungry to get on the podium again" after stewards stripped him of what would have been a maiden rostrum finish at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
After a challenging trio of pre-season tests, the Australian and his team produced one of the surprises of the Melbourne weekend by finishing second to Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, who dominated the race.
The stewards, however, later disqualified Ricciardo's car because it consistently surpassed the fuel flow limit of 100kg/h, while the Red Bull team chose to run with its own sensor instead of the FIA's standard device.
But despite the disappointment, Ricciardo has cleared his mind for the next round of the campaign in Malaysia, explaining that he is both eager to and confident of securing another top three result in the near future.
"Albert Park's made me hungry to get on the podium again – and I think we've got a really good chance of doing it," said Ricciardo, who has made the step up to Red Bull after two seasons with junior outfit Toro Rosso.
"The work we did in the winter targeted reliability rather than performance. It was only in Melbourne that we got the opportunity to start working on a set-up. The RB10 surprised us by being pretty competitive in the dry and very competitive in the wet. It's going to get much better as we dial it in over the next few races."
Ricciardo reckons Red Bull is fighting to be best of the rest behind the works Mercedes team at present, but he is certain that the outfit has what it takes to return to the front of the grid as the season develops.
"At the moment, we're in the battle to be the second-best team," Ricciardo went on to explain. "Obviously that isn't where we want to be but it's exceeding our expectations of only a few weeks ago.
"I think once we really get into the set-up of the car, we'll be able to close the gap to Mercedes. Obviously they're going to improve too but I think we're in a good position to make bigger strides."