Australia has a new driving hero.
Daniel Ricciardo has stepped into Mark Webber’s shoes at Red Bull without missing a beat, finishing in second place at today’s Australian Grand Prix.
Ricciardo finished a good way behind a dominant drive by McLaren Mercedes’s Nico Rosberg, but stayed cool to conserve fuel while holding off Mercedes No 2 driver Kevin Magnusson, who became Denmark’s first F1 podium star in his first race.
Ricciardo also made history. He is the first Australian driver to climb the podium at the Australian Grand Prix since it became part of Formula One’s world championship in 1985.
The race was marred early by a error on the first corner from Caterham driver Kamui Kobayashi, who rear-ended Felipe Massa’s Williams, putting both drivers out of the race.
Lewis Hamilton and reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel both retired within five laps with mechanical problems.
He celebrated on the podium with a jump he said later was dedicated to Webber.
“Two or three weeks ago, I would have bet pretty much everything I had that I wouldn’t be standing up here,” he said at the post-race press conference, referring to troubles with his car in recent weeks.
“To the Aussie fans, wow – completely, completely overwhelming.”
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