Daniel Ricciardo: Formula One is a “crueler sport”

When man relies on machine, there is always something that can go wrong.

And there is no more unforgiving environment than the high-stakes world of Formula One.

“Racing is one of those… probably a crueler sport in that there’s so many other variables,” says Red Bull’s No.1 driver Daniel Ricciardo, ahead of Sunday’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

“Unfortunately it’s not like tennis where all the racquets are pretty much the same and you can’t blame anyone but yourself.”

Ricciardo experienced the full extent of F1’s cruelty at last year’s Melbourne race.

The Australian crossed the line in second place — seemingly becoming the first Aussie to finish on the podium at Albert Park — but jubilation soon turned to despair.

He was disqualified hours after the race when officials ruled his car had exceeded the maximum fuel flow rate, a rule which states each car is limited to 100 kilograms of fuel per race and was introduced to make the sport more fuel efficient.

“It’s frustrating, I mean it’s a part of the sport which will always be frustrating,” said the 25-year-old, reflecting on what was his Red Bull debut.

“I’m sure even Lewis (Hamilton) and Nico (Rosberg) last year were frustrated at the times because you never have the perfect car,” he added, referring to the two Mercedes drivers, who finished first and second last season.

“But it is what it is, I signed up for that a long time ago, and you just learn to accept it.”

It’s a sport where even driving ability often fails to overcome mechanical failures — eventual world champion Hamilton was forced to retire from last year’s race at Albert Park.

But technical blunders don’t always end in disaster — Hamilton won the Italian Grand Prix after experiencing mechanical faults early in the race, and Finnish driver Valterri Bottas lost a wheel in 2014’s opener before roaring to a fifth-place finish.

Despite Ricciardo’s previous disappointment, he’s can’t wait to race on his home turf again next Sunday.

“I definitely feel privileged to have a home race… it just increases all the hype and all the excitement” said Ricciardo, adding that he would use “all the Australian flags and all the cheers to my advantage.”

After last year’s disaster Ricciardo is looking to make things right, “There’s a little bit of redemption, I’m confident we can get it back.”

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