Ricciardo hit with three-place grid penalty


Daniel Ricciardo has been slapped with a three-place grid penalty for his home Formula 1 race, thanks to a red flag infringement during today's second practice session.

The Red Bull Racing driver was found to have failed to stay above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU in the second last and last 'mini marshalling sectors' when the red flag came out mid-way through FP2.

As a result, he has been handed a three-place grid penalty and two penalty points.

According to the stewards report, the penalty was softened as Ricciardo did actually look to slow down, and no 'danger was created'.

"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," read the report.

"The Stewards also found that Ricciardo slowed by as much as 175km/h from his fast times at Turn 12 and was consistently and significantly slower in the final three turns, indicating that he was fully complying with the requirements of Appendix H of the International Sporting Code.

"However, he admitted an error in reading his dash and was slightly below the minimum time.

"As the regulation states, Art. 31.6 was added this year to ensure that drivers reduce speed sufficiently during a red flag. Breach of this regulation is seen to be an extremely serious matter.

"However, 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.

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

Raikkonen escapes punishment for Bottas block

Kimi Raikkonen, meanwhile, escaped punishment for his run-in with Valtteri Bottas in FP2.

Bottas was caught out by a slow-moving Raikkonen on the run into Turn 3 early in the second practice session, the Mercedes driver locking up taking to the gravel to avoid the Ferrari.

While Raikkonen was found to have "clearly impeded" Bottas, it was determined that it was not "unnecessary impeding", which means Raikkonen avoids a penalty.

Speaking after the session, Raikkonen said it was as simple as not being able to see the Ferrari.

"I didn't see him. I kind of knew there was someone but I couldn't see him at all," he said.

"I saw the smoke and I knew there was someone, but I didn't see him at all. For sure not ideal for him but there's nothing that I could see."

Bottas added that the turbulent air from behind the Ferrari played its part as well, and stated even before the verdict had been handed down that he wasn't expecting Raikkonen to get a penalty.

"I was kind of expecting him to move away," he said. "I think he was on a cool down lap, but he was on the line and when I got close enough I lost some downforce in the turbulent air and I had a lock-up."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Australian GP
Track Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit
Drivers Daniel Ricciardo
Teams Red Bull Racing
Article type Breaking news