Ricciardo's traumatic day began with confirmation of a five-place grid penalty after having a new gearbox installed in his Red Bull vehicle following a crash yesterday's qualifying.
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who hadn't won a race since the Singapore GP two-thirds of the way through the 2015 season, took the chequered flag in Melbourne for the second time.
He said, "Not the weekend I wanted at home".
And while Ricciardo felt "like crap" after bowing out midway through the race, Vettel hopes his victory signals the end of Mercedes' three-year domination of the sport.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands, right, and teammate Daniel Ricciardo of Australia share a laugh with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, left, during the drivers' photo call for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, March 26, 2017.
"It was an unbelievable recovery from the mechanics to get him into the race, nobody gave up in working to get the vehicle out there", Horner said.
Meanwhile, Williams did an incredible job to patch up Lance Stroll's auto following an FP3 crash, but he was still down in 19th place, only ahead of Jolyon Palmer who himself was struggling following his Friday practice crash. "I believe there is more people here supporting me than the others and I'm sure they would have loved me to get out there and race but it just snowballed on from yesterday".
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"The most frustrating thing was for all these things to happen at home", he said.
"On both occasions the auto just came to a stop, so I couldn't do anything else. I'll wake up tomorrow and be motivated to get ready for China".
"I don't think so, the suspension that were effectively outlawed was something we looked to develop over the winter".
At the conclusion of pre-season testing, there were suggestions that Red Bull was perhaps keeping its true speed under wraps but Sunday's performance clearly demonstrated that its gap to Ferrari and Mercedes is real.
One count showed there were just five passes during the Australian Grand Prix, down from two dozen in 2016.
"It looked a lot better in the race, I'm very happy about that".
"I don't crash into the barriers often and the last place I want to do that is at home".