Daniel Ricciardo’s pained relationship with his home grand prix continues as he has been dealt with a 3 grid place penalty for not having slowed down sufficiently during the red flag period in FP2.
The Red Bull driver will be losing three spots from his final qualifying position after not having stayed above the minimum required sector time as per ‘FIA red flag conditions’.
A timing wire had come loose on the finishing line, interrupting with Ricciardo’s qualifying simulation lap.
FIA confirmed that though Ricciardo had slowed down during the final two sectors, he hadn’t slowed down enough and had later accepted the mistake as well.
“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 read.
“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.” they added.
Ricciardo will now have to drive ‘out of his skin’ during qualifying tomorrow in order to ensure that he doesn’t fall away from the top too much.
Red Bull did have a very good practice today, with Verstappen ending the FP1 and FP2 as the driver with the second fastest lap time. Though Ricciardo’s grid penalty comes as a blow, the Red Bull package seems fast and robust enough to title Mercedes for the constructor’s championship this time round.