Ricciardo hit with five-place grid penalty for Australian GP

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Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo has been handed a five-place grid penalty for Formula 1’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Ricciardo spun at Turn 14 on his first flying lap in Saturday qualifying’s Top 10 shootout and backed his RB13 into the tyre barrier, which has prompted Red Bull to change his gearbox.

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

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

He added: “I didn’t use two sets of ultrasofts in Q2, which means I’ve got a new set for the race – so if I did do a two-stop, then that would work in my favour, perhaps.

“A Safety Car would make that a bit more nice – so maybe a Safety Car with about 15 laps to go would be the dream scenario.”

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

Williams rookie Lance Stroll will start the race last after requiring his own gearbox change following his crash in third practice.

The team was summoned to the stewards for not alerting the FIA before making that pre-qualifying change, but no further action has been taken.

Romain Grosjean has been fined €1000 for speeding in the pitlane in qualifying, while last-minute Sauber stand-in Antonio Giovinazzi was hit with a €200 fine for the same offence in third practice.

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