Published: Sat, March 24, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Daniel Ricciardo hits out at Australian Grand Prix grid penalty

Daniel Ricciardo hits out at Australian Grand Prix grid penalty

Ricciardo's famous grin was wiped off his face after being hit with a three place grid penalty for the Formula One season opener for speeding under red flag conditions in Friday's second practice.

"Obviously starting eighth because of the penalty is frustrating and I thought it was unjust", he said after going fifth fastest in qualifying, having previously described his sanction as "s***house".

Sky F1's Ted Kravitz was among those to criticise the stewards' verdict, tweeting: "Talk about not seeing the bigger picture: The red flag was for a loose wire on the startline, not a crash, and Ricciardo wasn't going to drive over it anyway as was coming into pits". I don't think they wanted to give him the penalty they had to.

"I'm pissed to say the least".

And past year, the Australian retired after just 25 laps because of a problem with his fuel cell.

The gap between Hamilton and Red Bull's Max Verstappen was relatively small, however, with the 20-year-old Dutch driver turning in a fastest lap time of 1:24.058, just over 0.1 behind Hamilton.

Vettel fuelled the fire in the Albert Park pre-race press conference when asked about a reprisal of his Red Bull partnership of 2014 with Ricciardo, saying, "We get along [and] I wouldn't mind if we get together again in the future, but I don't know what his plans are".

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

"It's not to discredit Lewis, not at all, but I think even him at 90% with that package, he still would've got pole".

"It's hard enough for us to understand let alone explain it to the viewers and the fans".

While Ricciardo has outscored Verstappen in their two seasons together at Red Bull, the Dutchman out-qualified Ricciardo 13-7 in the 20 races past year, his searing one-lap speed seeing the Australian regularly sport an atypically furrowed brow on Saturdays, and starting behind him for the grands prix on Sundays.

Red Bull Racing star Daniel Ricciardo has been struck with a grid penalty for this weekend's Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.

Ricciardo was sixth fastest in Friday's opening session.

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

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