Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo misses out on home podium again

Monday, 26 Mar, 2018

"The Stewards therefore are imposing a lesser penalty than usual and impose a three-grid place penalty and two penalty points (on his super-licence)".

He did well to battle past Nico Hulkenberg's Renault early on and was soon up to sixth after team mate Max Verstappen had a 360-degree spin.

The 33-year-old Briton, who will Saturday be chasing his fifth consecutive pole position in Melbourne, went faster than his best time of last year's first practice session with half an hour remaining Friday afternoon, mildly annoyed that he'd had "a lot of traffic on that lap". "There were a couple of times I had a look at turn three but Kimi was wise to that and could see what I was planning".

"I had a lot of issues with the auto, balance problems, and we found out after four or five laps something broke off the vehicle", he claimed. "But in the end it would have been nice to start further up the front!"

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo after making a pitstop during the race.

"Looking ahead, I think if we can have a good qualifying and clean start, then everything else should sort itself out in the race and we can be competitive".

"It is always going to be tough having two red cars in your mirror but we are the best prepared we can be - I am excited", he said.

A spin for the Dutchman encapsulated Red Bull's tough start but it when Haas' race later capitulated with both cars leaving the pits with loose wheels, the resulting Virtual Safety Car turned Ricciardo's race on its head. It's just nice to leave Australia with some points. the championship's not over after race one.

The design was complex, elaborate and a reflection of Ricciardo's state of mind at the time, as he came to terms with what being a top-line F1 driver really meant.

"You could do everything with a "ute" as we call them", Ricciardo tells CNN on the eve of the first F1 race of the 2018 season, the Australian Grand Prix. It's hard to enjoy the week leading up to it.

"The important thing is just remembering not to alienate the team you are in", Hamilton said. But I am so happy with that lap. I was just like, regardless - let's have fun, let's compete. "It's a shame that Lewis had quite a big gap, but I guess his lap was good in the end".

"Now it's definitely time to go and put my feet up for a couple of days after a busy week!"