Daniel Ricciardo will serve a three grid place penalty for his home race after failing to slow sufficiently during the red flag period midway through FP2 at the Australian Grand Prix.

Ricciardo, who had to start from the pit lane last year due to a technical issue with his Red Bull, will lose three spots from his final qualifying position after being judged to have not stayed above the minimum sector times set by the FIA under red flag conditions.

A red flag was triggered midway through FP2 when a timing wire came loose on the finish line which also wrecked Ricciardo’s qualifying simulation lap. The Red Bull driver was forced to abort his qualifying run but failed to slow sufficiently in the final two sectors. As a result he has been hit with a three place grid drop and handed two penalty points.

The FIA stewards confirmed Ricciardo had slowed “as much as 175kmph” at turn 12 and said he admitted the mistake after reading his dash incorrectly and accepted he was below the minimum sector times.

“As the regulation states, Article 31.6 was added this year to ensure that drivers reduce speed sufficiently during a red flag,” the FIA Stewards statement confirmed. “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.”

The penalty marks the ongoing poor form Ricciardo has at his home race having been denied a podium in 2014 when his Red Bull exceeded the maximum fuel flow limit and he was disqualified from the final results.


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