Sports

Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo reveals his first ever auto

Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo reveals his first ever auto

Red Bull had lifted four straight drivers' and constructors' world titles when the Australian was promoted from Toro Rosso in 2014, but have not claimed another since, with Ricciardo winning five races for the senior team.

And a year ago, the Australian retired after just 25 laps because of a problem with his fuel cell.

But not everything went to plan for Mercedes, with Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas crashing into the wall on turn two early in the third and final 12 minute qualifying session prompting a red flag.

"I think I can agree with everyone, there's other penalties they could have used", said Ricciardo on arriving at the Melbourne track this morning.

"I think we're the only ones in the top 10 to do that so hopefully that's going to work to our favour", he said.

With stewards acknowledged at the time that "no danger was created", Ricciardo was left fuming with the decision to penalise him anyway.

"Article 31.6 was added [to the rules] this year to ensure that drivers reduce speed sufficiently during a red flag", read a statement issued by race stewards.

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Ricciardo, who was tipped to be a contender at Albert Park, said he had been potentially "robbed" of a front row start.

"We still have quite a lot of performance in hand".

In 2018, however, the Red Bull driver feels a record of frustration could end with a long-awaited podium at Albert Park on Sunday.

"I don't really know with the balance what I could have done, there's much, much more [pace] there so I'll see now but yeah, for sure it's frustrating a little bit".

No home driver has ever recorded a pole position or podium finish in the 33-year history of the Australian GP, although Ricciardo did climb the rostrum in second place in 2014 only to be disqualified for a fuel flow technicality on his Red Bull auto.

The optimism comes from winter testing in Barcelona when Ricciardo consistently registered fast lap times, suggesting Red Bull may have overcome the teething issues of a year ago.

Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets for Mercedes in both practice sessions at the Australian Grand Prix on Friday but Red Bull's Max Verstappen showed enough pace to give the Silver Arrows pause for thought.


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