Published: Sat, March 24, 2018
Life&Culture | By Ben Goodman

Australian Grand Prix: Daniel Ricciardo receives three-place grid penalty

Australian Grand Prix: Daniel Ricciardo receives three-place grid penalty

Adding to the intoxicating mix is the threat from ambitious 20-year-old team-mate Max Verstappen, who was outscored by Ricciardo on race points last year but regularly topped the Perth native in qualifying.

Australian star driver Daniel Ricciardo's horrid luck at his home Grand Prix continued Friday when a red flag for debris on the track ruined his second practice session.

"The stewards reviewed the data and video and found that Ricciardo did in fact fail to stay above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU in the penultimate and final mini marshalling sectors", the report released by the stewards said. What should have been a five-place grid penalty was reduced to three by the stewards, who felt Ricciardo drove with due care and attention and clearly slowed significantly. However, an error in reading his dash meant he still completed the lap too quickly.

"The Stewards therefore are imposing a lesser penalty than usual, and impose a three grid place penalty and two penalty points".

"I know that obviously they're loving it, they're in a good position, but everyone else is hating it".

While Hamilton has insisted his final-lap improvement was not down to a switch to a faster engine mode, Ricciardo admitted the way Mercedes was able to turn up the power for qualifying was disheartening. The top ranked Australian has been at the top of Team RedBull since his signing in 2014, bringing home 5 wins in that time.

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"When you come to another circuit where you don't need all that downforce that's sometimes where they perhaps struggle, but I think they will be very hard to beat this weekend".

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner had no issue with the decision but said he had never seen Ricciardo so enraged.

"I thought it was unjust", Ricciardo said on his penalty. It was just an honest mistake but should that really rob me of a front row start?

Reason: The Stewards examined telemetry, video, vehicle positioning data evidence and heard from Daniel Ricciardo, the driver of auto 3 and the team representative.

Caught out by the new formula one rule only introduced this year, the Aussie's hopes of claiming a home grand prix have been dealt a major blow as a result of the penalty and he didn't hold back when asked how he felt about it.

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