The 2014 Australian GP Retrospective

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 16: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing is interviewed on the podium by Alan Jones after finishing second during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 16, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Daniel Ricciardo; Alan Jones // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI2014121810280 // Usage for editorial use only //
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 16: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing is interviewed on the podium by Alan Jones after finishing second during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 16, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Daniel Ricciardo; Alan Jones // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI2014121810280 // Usage for editorial use only //

The closest thing to an Aussie on the podium

With hometown hero Oscar Piastri and fellow Aussie Daniel Ricciardo gearing up to tackle the home race in Melbourne, this year also marks a decade since the latter stood on the podium as well as the Australian Grand Prix being the first race to see the hybrid power-units introduced.  

34-year old Ricciardo famously claimed second in debut for Red Bull Racing in 2014, after inheriting the seat from compatriot Mark Webber upon the Canberran’s retirement the year before. Paired also alongside the then reigning four-time world champion in Sebastian Vettel.

To the elation and euphoria of the adoring Albert Park crowd on the day, at last an Australian driver had claimed a podium finish at their home grand prix. Though later that evening, the unfortunate news broke that due to a irregularity with the fuel flow system – Ricciardo was disqualified from the final classification.

“Obviously at the time of standing on the podium and all that, I thought I had it,” recounted Ricciardo when asked if you can take any of that feeling of standing on the home podium away, during the FIA press conference ahead of this year’s Australian Grand Prix.

“I stood on a home podium and the crowd all though I had the podium at the time. In my head the anthem was playing. So I felt it and that was all real.”

Young Piastri added to Ricciardo’s remarks with “I saw an Aussie on the podium and that’s all I remember from that day,” also expressing the disappointment he experienced as a 13-year old hearing that his fellow Aussie had been disqualified.

While the images of Ricciardo’s trademark smile, beaming ear-to-ear of him standing on the Albert Park podium will remain vivid for any fan present on the day or viewing from afar – history sadly doesn’t show his name on the final classification sheets, nor the trophy sitting in the Red Bull factory.

Daniel Ricciardo Carrying A Chip On His Shoulder
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 21: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Visa Cash App RB attends the Drivers Press Conference during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Albert Park Circuit on March 21, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202403210101 // Usage for editorial use only //

Magnussen’s podium on debut

That trophy in fact belongs to McLaren, as this year’s Australian Grand Prix marks a decade since the Woking outfit last had a podium finish in Melbourne. Of course, a baby-faced Kevin Magnussen on his grand prix debut inherited second off Ricciardo – after still finishing an excellent third.

The Dane, who has endured a turbulent career to date initially burst onto the scene with that stellar result – compared to the likes of Lewis Hamilton, as the seven-time world champion was the last driver to achieve a podium on debut in Formula One.

Though sadly, it has thus far in his nine-season F1 career been the only trip to the podium for the 31-year old. Which Magnussen was asked to reflect upon during the press conference ahead of the 2024 race weekend.

“I don’t really [reflect]. It feels like a lifetime ago. A lot has happened since. I’m proud of having gotten on the podium in my first race, but at the same time, it’s frustrating to have done 10-years and not get back on the podium.”

Haas F1 Team
2109 F1 Bahrain GP Qualifying- Kevin Magnussen (Courtesy- Rich Energy Haas F1 Team)

10 years of the hybrid power-units

Uniquely too, Magnussen is one of two drivers since the introduction of the hybrid-turbo power-units to have contested a race weekend for all four of the manufacturers. Starting with the Mercedes powered McLaren in 2014, the ill-fated McLaren Honda the year later – having to deputise for the injured Fernando Alonso in Melbourne – as well a year with the works Renault team in 2016 and since then, racing a Ferrari powered Haas.   

“I’ve driven all of those [power-units] and I think the performance of these hybrid engine is much more impressive,” Magnussen said when talking about being in the tenth year of the hybrid era before lamenting the lack of sound.

“Part of me that hopes we can get that [sound] back somehow. But at the same time, I know that the world has moved on. Technology has moved on. There are new requirements for the technology we have.”  

The Impact Of Engine Load In Formula One Racing
The Formula One Championship-winning Power Units of the last five years: Mercedes-AMG F1 M09 EQ Power+ (2018), Mercedes-AMG F1 M08 EQ Power+ (2017), Mercedes-Benz PU106C Hybrid (2016), Mercedes-Benz PU106B Hybrid (2015), Mercedes-Benz PU106A Hybrid (2014)
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