Daniel Ricciardo Bounces Back At The 2014 Bahrain GP.


Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It has been one hell of a whirlwind season for the young Australian who replaced veteran Australian Mark Webber for the 2014 season.

The Red Bull Racing driver proved impressive in a competitive, thrilling race under the lights in Bahrain with a fourth place finish.

In truth, it has been a continuation of an impressive start to the season for the rookie.

Repelling the pressure of a home grand prix, as well as the dreadful off season for the reigning Constructor’s Champions, he managed to finish second on his Red Bull debut.

It was a mightily impressive start to his Red Bull career, as not only did he finish second, he outperformed teammate and Driver’s Champion Sebastian Vettel who retired in a race full of retirements as the new rules created a unique style of F1.

Disaster hit though, as Riccciardo was disqualified over a fuel-flow rate infringement. The punishment was highly contentious, as Red Bull, fronted by Christian Horner, decided to appeal. A decision has yet to be made, but Ricciardo left Australia with no points.

In the next race, disaster was to hit the young driver yet again. A standard pit stop was the beginning of the problem. As Ricciardo left the pits, it was soon apparent that his left wheel was loose. He was consequently punished yet again. Not once, but twice.

As he returned to the track, dropping from fourth to the back, his front wing came loose and damaged a tyre, meaning he had to return to the pits once again.

The punishment was not over as he then served a 10 second penalty before eventually retiring.

While Ricciardo was calm, his teammate had lost patience with what clearly appeared to be victimisation to Ricciardo in Vettel’s eyes: “for the driver the penalty is too harsh , obviously the rule is the rule. There is not much Daniel could have done better. It’s very harsh to pay the price the following weekend with a 10 place grid penalty.”

The grid penalty was the nadir of Ricciardo’s tumultuous season.

The young driver had outperformed four time champion Vettel consistently and had impressed his team. Team principal Horner was glowing with praise for the newest team member: “everything we’ve seen of Daniel is enormously impressive. The way he handles things and the way he handles adversity. Today didn’t go his way, he gets out of the car, he has a smile on his face and he knows that it will come right.”

Not only had he performed excellently, but his chemistry with Vettel eradicated last year’s bad memories of Vettel and Webber’s constant clashing.

Ricciardo then turned around his poor season, points wise but certainly not performance wise, at Bahrain. In a race full of overtaking, drama, and incidents, the young driver kept his cool and pushed from 13th to 4th, and just missed out on the podium finish.

Prior to the race, he felt it was an impossible task to reach the podium, but delivered a performance close to the impossible aim. Before the race he said: “I would love to charge through and have a podium, but realistically we have to get some points to start. My season has been going well but I don’t have any points to show for it so far. But in saying that, I don’t think we need to be conservative, we need to push, we are out of position and we’ll do what we can. If there is an opportunity to move forward I will do what I can and hopefully take away some points.”

Ricciardo grabbed his chance and got the points he more than deserved.

The young rookie has faced adversity, pressure and a World Champion teammate and battled to a great start to the season.

Now, with controversy hopefully behind him, Ricciardo can continue to grab points and prove he is one of the best young talents out on the Formula One circuit.