Ricciardo hit with grid penalty

F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo hopes to end his Australia curse

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo given three-place grid for the Australian Grand Prix

"That sucks", said the Red Bull driver, who finished nearly a second off in fifth and will start the Australian GP eighth due to a grid penalty.

The home favourite was penalised on Friday for speeding under red-flag conditions, meaning his P5 at the end of Q3 on Saturday was only good enough to see him start from P8 in Sunday's race.

"It's just so unfortunate for Daniel, home driver, home race".

Meanwhile, the Red Bull team Principal was not convinced with Ricciardo and his way about looking at the penalty decision and believes there is nothing wrong with the decision. "They could give me a reprimand, they could give me a fine, I don't care, just don't rob me of a front-row start".

The 28-year-old Red Bull driver was forced to retire at the Melbourne event in 2017 and faces an uphill battle to reach the podium there for the first time.

"I don't think they wanted to give him the penalty but they had to", he said. "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".

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The penalty is a heavy blow to both Ricciardo and Red Bull, who have pushed Mercedes close in practice at Albert Park.

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 Stewards examined telemetry, video, vehicle position data evidence and hard from Daniel Ricciardo, the driver of auto 3 and the team representative.

Hamilton's fastest time, a lap of one minute 23.931 seconds set midway through the 90-minute second session, was 0.127 seconds quicker than Verstappen, with Hamilton's Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas next, a further tenth of a second adrift.

In the lead up to the Melbourne Grand Prix, Ricciardo has been plagued with questions surrounding contract renegotiations. Breach of this regulation is seen to be an extremely serious matter.

The Australian, who ended the session in P7, having had his best lap ruined when the red flags were thrown for debris on the circuit, was also given two penalty points on his licence for the offence.

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