The Aussie crossed the line in second place at his home race which was his first outing since being promoted to Red Bull. However, a post-race technical check showed that Ricciardo had “consistently” exceeded the 100kgs/hour rate of fuel flow.
Ricciardo was called to the stewards office with other Red Bull team members where they gave their side of the story. Five hours after the race, the Stewards announced that Ricciardo was to be disqualified.
The case was not a simple open-and-shut case as the FIA had changed the apparatus which they use to monitor the fuel flow on Saturday, after they encountered issues with it. This left Red Bull arguing that the fault lay with the technology and that they had been in the right.
Ricciardo battled for most of the race with McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen who finished third on his Formula One debut. Unusually, Ricciardo was told mid-race that he did not have to worry about fuel conservation. This suggests that Red Bull may have misread the fuel data.
The other Red Bull had an equally fruitless day as Sebastian Vettel began his title defence by retiring on the sixth lap with an engine issue. By the time he pitted, he was running far down the order and had just been overtaken by Max Chilton and Pastor Maldonado, who started at the back of the grid.
It’s a blow for Red Bull who, after all their pre-season trouble, seemed to have made a miraculous recovery. Although this weekend will be a weekend to forget for the Milton Keynes team, they can take some solace in the fact that Ricciardo made it to the chequered flag.
As a result of Ricciardo’s disqualification, Kevin Magnussen has been promoted to second place on his debut Grand Prix, and his team-mate Jenson Button takes the final podium position.
You can see the full report on today’s race here.
Image via Red Bull/Getty Images.