MELBOURNE, Australia -- Daniel Ricciardo will start his home race with a three-place grid penalty after he was caught speeding under red flags during second practice for the Australian Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver failed to stay above to the minimum sector times set by the FIA when damage to the start/finish line triggered a brief red flag stoppage during Friday's afternoon session. Ricciardo was on a qualifying simulation at the time and although he backed off, he did not slow enough to adhere to the regulations.
As a result he will start three places further back from wherever he qualifies as well as receiving two penalty points on his superlicence. However, by the letter of the law, the stewards said the full penalty could have been worse.
"The stewards examined telemetry, video, car positioning data evidence and heard from Daniel Ricciardo, the driver of car 3 and the team representative. The stewards reviewed the data and video and found that Ricciardo did in fact fail to stay above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU in the penultimate and final mini marshalling sectors.
"The stewards also found that Ricciardo slowed by as much as 175km/h from his fast times at Turn 12 and was consistently and significantly slower in the final three turns, indicating that he was fully complying with the requirements of Appendix H of the International Sporting Code. However, he admitted an error in reading his dash and was slightly below the minimum time.
"As the regulation states, Art. 31.6 was added this year to ensure that drivers reduce speed sufficiently during a red flag. 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."