Formula One (F1)

Daniel Ricciardo penalised five grid places ahead of season-launching Australian Grand Prix

Australian’s hopes are dealt another blow with confirmation of a five-place grid penalty for season-opening race in Melbourne

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 March, 2017, 11:56am
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 March, 2017, 11:56am

Daniel Ricciardo’s Australian Grand Prix hopes have been dealt another blow with confirmation of a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s season-opening race in Melbourne.

Ricciardo slammed into the barrier during qualifying on Saturday and his Red Bull RB13 car suffered rear end damage and prompted the team to change the gearbox.

Teams need to run the same gearbox in six consecutive events, and the five-place penalty, confirmed by the Red Bull team, for changing it drops Ricciardo from 10th to 15th for his home grand prix.

Ricciardo acknowledged after qualifying a gearbox change was possible, and admitted he was “hoping for a lot” in the race.

Ricciardo’s penalty promotes Force India’s Sergio Perez to 10th, and also elevates Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon and Marcus Ericsson.

It continues Ricciardo’s run of wretched luck at his home grand prix where he is seeking to become the race’s first Australian winner in 37 years.

He is lining up for his sixth crack at the race, after placing fourth last year, his best performance yet.

In 2014, Ricciardo crossed the line second behind Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, but was disqualified for breaching fuel rules.