The fairy-tale debut for Daniel Ricciardo was clearly too good to be true after the home favourite was excluded from today's race for consistently exceeding the maximum allowed fuel flow of 100kg per hour.
Ricciardo had already won over local fans with second place in qualifying before a strong and measured drive today brought them to their feet to see him claim his first Formula One podium. Little did they - or Ricciardo - know what was to follow.
"It's still surreal," he grinned before learning of his fate. "Every minutes that passes… its sinking in a bit more, a bit more.
"To be on the podium at home, to start the season like this, just see the chequered flag, I know for the team it's a massive reward.
"It was a bit awkward when I got up there because it's been about three years since I stepped on a podium," he added. "That picture, walking out there, will stay in my memory bank forever."
It will be a bitter sweet memory however as Ricciardo's joy was short lived. During post-race scrutineering his car was found to have exceeded the allowed fuel flow rate of 100kg per hour and was referred to the stewards. With such a black and white case there was only ever going to be one outcome and eventually the Australian was excluded from the race.
The final decision was handed down more than five hours after the chequered flag had fallen, a delay caused by an in-depth debate between the FIA and Red Bull over a faulty fuel flow sensor.
"There have been issues with these sensors from day one," team boss Christian Horner argued. "I don't think any of them have been working 100% reliably throughout the weekend. Even through the race I think there's quite a few that acted incorrectly."
It's a statement which seems to contradict comments made earlier in the weekend by Charlie Whiting. "It's fairly apparent whether or not that sensor is going to work," the FIA Race Director explained on Thursday. "It's either very, very good or such a long way out that we can identify whether or not that meter should be used.
"It will always be correlated with data that we have from the injectors to make sure that there's not a wide divergence but from what we've seen so far that won't be the case," he added.
"We monitor them all the way through the race and if we see a fault then we have a fall back solution."
That solution is to understand the fuel flow up to the point where the sensor failed and use it as a basis for calculations from that point on. However, in Red Bull's case it doesn't appear that this was the process followed. Instead a sensor with a known issue was fitted to Ricciardo's car with an offset figure (based on practice data) included in calculations in order to make them accurate.
"We had an issue with a sensor that changed its reading through Friday practice," claimed Horner. "That sensor was then replaced for another sensor on Saturday which then failed during qualifying.
"We were then asked to put the sensor from Friday back in to the car and apply an offset. That offset we didn't feel was correct and as we got in to the race we could see there was a significant discrepancy between what the sensor was reading and where our fuel flow, which is the actual injection of fuel into the engine, was stated as."
In their statement the stewards addressed Horner's point by stating that they had "considered the history of the fitted fuel flow sensor", and agreed that "a difference in reading between the first three and run four was detected" during opening practice, but it had then remained consistent during second practice.
"The team used a different senor on Saturday," the statement continued, "but did not get readings that were satisfactory to them or the FIA, so they were instructed to change the sensor within Parc Ferme on Saturday night."