April 23, 2018

Penalised: Daniel Ricciardo's Australian Grand Prix curse strikes again

24 March 2018, 01:36 | Kristopher Drake

Ricciardo's smile has Hamilton on edge

F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo hopes to end his Australia curse

Never afraid to speak his mind, Daniel Ricciardo has slammed the three-place grid penalty he's received at the Australian Grand Prix as a result of driving too quickly during a red-flag period in training on Friday.

Mercedes finding extra speed in Q3 to pull away from rivals has been a recurring theme in the current F1 era, but Ricciardo conceded the step in performance was bigger than expected this time.

The 28-year-old endured a nightmare 2017 event in Melbourne when he crashed in qualifying and then retired from the race before half distance with engine problems.

Ricciardo was also given two penalty points on his license.

However, the stewards in reply said that the fine imposed on the premier Red Bull driver was not harsh.

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

"I think the first parts of qualifying were okay but at the end we just missed a few tenths, it looked like it was all in the first sector".

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No home driver has ever recorded a pole position or podium finish in the 33-year history of the Australian GP, although Ricciardo did climb the rostrum in second place in 2014 only to be disqualified for a fuel flow technicality on his Red Bull auto.

It is a refreshing feeling for Ricciardo, whose pride at flying the flag for Australian racing at his home track has been spiked with anxiety over his car's reliability in the past three years.

Red Bull arrived in Melbourne with great expectations but finished behind both the Ferraris, with Max Verstappen to start fourth alongside four-times champion Sebastian Vettel.

"This is a year which our prep's been well and good, and I really, really hope Lewis is right that we will have a chance to fight for a title and that will ultimately make me very happy and ... take my time and see what happens".

The Australian was penalised for not staying above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU under the red flag during Friday's second session which was brought about when a piece of wire used by the timing system fell on to the track.

Ricciardo will have his work cut out for him as, no matter where he qualifies, he will start 3 places down.

"In this case, the stewards thoroughly reviewed the breach and found that the driver slowed significantly, such that no danger was created, and that the driver proceeded with due care".

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