On Sunday, Daniel Ricciardo condemned Formula One stewards at the Australian Grand Prix after the Western Australian was handed a three-place grid penalty for his home race, reported Reuters. The Red Bull driver was sanctioned for driving too fast under red flag conditions during second free practice on Friday. However, the stewards said in a statement that they had imposed a “lesser penalty than usual” because as Ricciardo had driven with “due care” and there was “no danger”.
The 28-year-old Ricciardo, who was tipped to be a contender at Albert Park, claims that he had been potentially “robbed” of a front row start. “To give me a grid penalty before the season has even started is shithouse. I slowed down, I knew there was a red flag, I didn’t go slow enough. It was just an honest mistake but should that really rob me of a front row start? They could give me a reprimand, they could give me a fine, I don’t care, just don’t rob me of a front-row start,” he told during the media interaction.
Twitter was also was also furious with the decision.
However, Red Bull team Principal Christian Horner, who had no issue with the decision, said that he had never seen Ricciardo so enraged. “It’s just so unfortunate for Daniel, home driver, home race. I’ve never seen him as angry as he was last night. It’s still eating him up and he’s still pretty revved up about it,” he said.
Ricciardo, who has won five races for Red Bull, crashed during qualifying last year. He had to start the race from pit-lane due to a reliability problem and ended up retiring midway.