Daniel Ricciardo: I can still win this
A DEFIANT Daniel Ricciardo has declared anything can happen as he faces an uphill battle to eclipse a pacesetting Lewis Hamilton at Sunday's F1 Grand Prix.
Ricciardo, 28, was fifth fastest in qualifying on Saturday but will start three places down the grid after being penalised for driving too fast under the red safety flag in practice on Friday.
"You get a good start, throw a few elbows and then things can happen," he said.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton set a new track record on Saturday to earn a record seventh pole position at Albert Park - jumping on the nose of his Mercedes in celebration.
He was ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.
Hamilton fared better than Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who spectacularly crashed out of qualification three.
"My heart is racing right now," Hamilton said.
"I'm so happy with that lap."
A fired-up Ricciardo said he was determined to break a barren run of success by Australians at their home race.
He vowed to crank the noise on some old-school punk rock to get in the zone for Sunday's race at speeds above 320kmh on a 5.3km circuit against the world's best drivers.
He said anything could happen if he got in the zone.
A high chance of rain on race day could help him peg back the race leaders and put his stamp on the occasion.
Racegoers and drivers got a taste of Melbourne's trademark four seasons in one day on Saturday with rain during F1 practice but dry weather for all-important F1 qualifying.
Having failed to finish last year's race due to mechanical issues and being disqualified from second place in 2014, Ricciardo said he would use his penalty for extra motivation.
"I was filthy, I still am,'' Ricciardo said of being penalised.
"But you've got to move on.''
He reiterated he felt the penalty was "s---house'' and said stewards could have found a more reasonable penalty at his home race.
The prospect of a slippery and wet Australian Grand Prix could put he and his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen back in the mix.
"Unless you're the quickest car on the track in the dry, rain is always good because it gives you hope you can bridge the gap,'' Ricciardo said.
"Or there is a bit of chaos to maybe capitalise on. The wet could throw a spanner in the works.''
F1 chairman and chief executive Chase Carey said: "There can be no better venue than the city of Melbourne to kick off this great show which is Formula 1.''
Meanwhile, the Formula One world will pay tribute to Ron Walker on Sunday at the motorsport home he built for Melbourne.
A pit lane tribute to the man who brought F1 to Victoria will be staged in the lead-up to the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.
AGP chairman Andrew Westacott said "Ron would be proud'' of a pre-race tribute to be beamed on to screens at the track and around the world.
"We've got so many beautiful images that there will be a pictorial tribute to Ron just before the national anthem,'' he said.