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Ricciardo says 'free the budgie nine'

Australian F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo has dedicated his Malaysian GP victory to Jules Bianchi.
Daniel Ricciardo believes the nine Australians arrested for celebrating his win in their swimwear should be set free from prison
Photo Source: EPA

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Australian Formula One star Daniel Ricciardo believes the nine Australians arrested for celebrating his Malaysian Grand Prix win in their budgie smugglers should be released and escape serious sanctions.

The nine men were arrested for indecency after not quite baring all while wearing swimwear emblazoned with the Malaysian flag.

They could be jailed for up to two years under Malaysian law but Ricciardo told NewsCorp Australia's he hoped they would be freed.

"They've been arrested, so that already in my books is lesson learned,'' he said.

"I guess when they travel next time they will check the laws for where they go but, for me, there is no reason for anything else to happen.

"Obviously, Malaysia has their law and whatever will be, but from my side, personally, they were just enjoying the celebration and obviously it just went a step too far for those laws.''

"I see it as pretty harmless."

Malaysian police hope to charge the men with "intentional insult'', with a minimum penalty of a fine and a maximum two-year prison term.

A lesser charge of insulting Malaysia's national emblem is also being considered, carrying a maximum term of six months behind bars.

The group's actions drew criticism from Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop.

"They are facing certain charges and what might be seen as a foolish prank or Aussie blokey behaviour in Australia can be seen very differently in another country,'' she said.

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