Mar 17, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT
It should have been a joyous occasion. Daniel Ricciardo, the new face of Red Bull alongside four-time defending World Champion teammate Sebastian Vettel, had qualified and finished second in the season opening Australian Grand Prix.
After more than a decade of Mark Webber’s near misses and frequent bad luck in his home race, Ricciardo delivered the perfect story line switch with a storybook team debut.
Only it was too good.
The Australian was disqualified several hours after the race for exceeding the newly mandated maximum fuel flow rate.
It wiped out what had been an excellent first outing for Ricciardo in the lead Red Bull team after two full years with Toro Rosso.
It also continued a spell of unlucky results for Australians in their home Grand Prix at Melbourne.
Webber was only once able to better his best Australian GP finish set on his Grand Prix debut in 2002 with Minardi, when he finished fifth. A solitary fourth in 2012 didn’t have the same allure or appeal that the fifth with the underdog team did, as it was their first points-scoring finish since the 1999 European Grand Prix.
As it is, with Ricciardo now the sole native son waving the flag in Australia, here’s a rundown of the results since Webber’s 2002 debut.
- 2014: Ricciardo (Red Bull) DQ
- 2013: Webber (Red Bull) 6th, Ricciardo (Toro Rosso) DNF
- 2012: Webber (Red Bull) 4th, Ricciardo (Toro Rosso) 9th
- 2011: Webber (Red Bull) 5th
- 2010: Webber (Red Bull) 9th
- 2009: Webber (Red Bull) 12th
- 2008: Webber (Red Bull) DNF
- 2007: Webber (Red Bull) 13th
- 2006: Webber (Williams) DNF
- 2005: Webber (Williams) 5th
- 2004: Webber (Jaguar) DNF
- 2003: Webber (Jaguar) DNF
- 2002: Webber (Minardi) 5th
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- Honda preps for first simulations, expresses confidence it can match Mercedes 1
- Kenseth clinches Chase berth; Bowyer falls out of Grid with one race to go 0
- Kasey Kahne rallies in last 2 laps to win at Atlanta, makes Chase 1
- Tony Stewart’s comeback hopes end with rough 41st-place finish at Atlanta 2
- Tony Stewart the obvious fan favorite during pre-race introductions at Atlanta 3
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