F1: Ricciardo hit with Brazil grid penalty
By Chris Medland | RACER magazine and RACER.com F1 correspondent
Daniel Ricciardo will take a 5-place grid penalty at this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix as a result of his retirement at the last race in Mexico.
The Red Bull driver was running second in the latter stages of the Mexican Grand Prix when he was forced to stop, marking the eighth time this season he has failed to finish a race. Ahead of the start of FP1 at Interlagos Ricciardo was waiting at the end of the pit lane with 10 minutes still to go before the session went live, signaling the team’s intention to register a new power unit component by being first on track.
The FIA technical delegate’s report then confirmed Ricciardo will use a sixth turbocharger this weekend in Sao Paulo, carrying a five-place grid penalty due to a 10-place drop only being applied the first time the limit of power unit components is exceeded.
Getting out on track first in FP1 ensures any other car that takes a grid penalty will have it applied after Ricciardo’s grid drop.
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On Thursday, Ricciardo said he could not explain the number of reliability issues he has faced this season, but insists he doesn’t take too long to get over the problems despite having suggested after his Mexico retirement there was no point in him showing up for the last two races.
“I looked at the first six months of last year, Max (Verstappen) seemed to have most if not all of it,” Ricciardo said. “Then the last six months I seemed to have most or all of it. So last year it was spread out in a way between us, and this year certainly it is been more me. Max had the failure in Budapest and maybe somewhere else. But it certainly has been a lot more top heavy for me this year.
“I don’t really have any explanation. It sounds really simple and silly, but bad luck really is the best term I can use. I think all the team still like me, so no one has it in for me. It has just been the way it has worked this year. So, I’ll keep trying. I know Sunday afternoons I am pretty pissed and animated, but honestly, I wake up Monday and am ready to go again. So it does not last too long.”
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ABOUT CHRIS MEDLAND
While studying Sports Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, Chris managed to talk his way into working at the British Grand Prix in 2008 and was retained for three years before joining ESPN F1 as Assistant Editor. After three years at ESPN, a spell as F1 Editor at Crash Media Group was followed by the major task of launching F1i.com’s English-language website and running it as Editor. Present at every race since the start of 2014, he has continued building his freelance portfolio, working with international titles. As well as writing for RACER, he contributes to BBC 5Live and Sky Sports in the UK as well as working with titles in Japan and the Middle East.