Australian GP: Daniel Ricciardo slams stewards over grid penalty

F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo hopes to end his Australia curse

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo continued to vent over his three-place grid penalty after qualifying for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, claiming to have been "shot in the ankle" by Formula One officials.

That pairing could be entering the final straight as Ricciardo will become a free agent next year, raising speculation about where he will be next season given the contracts of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes and Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari are also due to expire at the end of the year.

It means the pair will start Sunday's race on the red-banded compound, an aspect Ricciardo hopes will prove fruitful in assisting his recovery towards the front.

Australia's Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) was fifth fastest but will start from eighth in the Formula One season opener after copping a three place grid penalty in Friday's second practice.

Ricciardo was also given two penalty points on his license.

"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.

"Article 31.6 was added [to the rules] this year to ensure that drivers reduce speed sufficiently during a red flag", read a statement issued by race stewards.

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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.

In 2014, Ricciardo initially finished second but was later disqualified for breaching fuel consumption rules.

"I don't think the lap was that good, to be honest".

Ricciardo, along with Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen, opted to complete Q2 on the Supersoft tyres, as opposed to the Ultrasoft compound preferred by their rivals. "I'm pissed to say the least".

"I don't really know with the balance what I could have done, there's much, much more [pace] there so I'll see now but yeah, for sure it's frustrating a little bit". Breach of this regulation is seen to be an extremely serious matter.

For Daniel Ricciardo, the Australian Grand Prix has been an exasperating mix of desperately willing fans and mostly unwilling cars.


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