Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2018

Ricciardo handed three-place grid penalty for red flag violation

2018 F1 season

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Daniel Ricciardo has been given a three-place penalty on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix following a red flag violation in practice.

The stewards ruled Ricciardo did not slow down sufficiently when the second practice session was red-flagged. He was also given two penalty points on his licence for the breach which the stewards said had the potential to be “extremely serious”.

Charles Leclerc, Sauber, Albert Park, 2018
Australian Grand Prix practice in pictures
“The stewards reviewed the data and found that Ricciardo did in fact fail to stay above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU in the penultimate and final marshalling sectors,” the said in a statement.

“The stewards also found that Ricciardo slowed by as much as 175kph 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, [Article] 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.”

The stewards also decided to take no action on an incident involving Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen at turn three. They ruled that while Raikkonen had impeded Bottas, he had not done so deliberately. “The stewards determined that Raikkonen did make a reasonable attempt to cede the apex of the corner and both drivers agreed that it was not unnecessary impeding,” they noted.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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41 comments on “Ricciardo handed three-place grid penalty for red flag violation”

  1. This won’t go down well.

    1. You bet it won’t. Since when does practice count for anything. the cars can be run ilegally, and with gigantic arrays precariously attached. Drivers used to run without super licenses. Why do we need to enforce a race penalty, fine the driver, perhaps reprimand. Generally speeding tickets are worse the faster you go.

  2. Oh Ricciardo, nothing ever goes right for him at the Aus GP

    1. Yeah, starting to turn into a bit of a habit, right

    2. It’s the aussie home race curse. Webber was also jinxed at this circuit. I still think he can finish in P5 on Sunday, but the podium will now be a hard task for him.

      1. Except on his debut – possibly because trying to do anything significant in a Minardi was enough of a “self-imposed” disadvantage to nullify the curse effect.

    3. Shame, but, well, he can always take it this way: If he wins it will be that much better.

      1. He has a challenge ahead of him all season long, rain or shine. On dry weather, Mercs are gonna be faster, [i personally hope Ferraris too]. On wet he has the same car as Max …

        He needs to move into a Merc or Ferrari soon.

        1. Doesn’t matter if Merc and Ferrari are faster…the rain will equalize it.
          It’s the driver’s skill in the wet that will determine the outcome.

  3. Thats pretty harsh if you ask me.. Stewards making a statement for the year to come?

    1. @azmo I don’t agree: speeding in a red flag situation is serious, as the stewards’ explanation makes clear.

      1. Agreed. I’d rather one of the cars at the sharp end didn’t have a grid penalty to start off the season, but the rules are the rules and he does appear to have broken them…

      2. Good thing i’m not a steward then, i’d let him off with a warning, being his home race and all :)

        1. @azmo, wouldn’t that be exactly the sort of favouritism and bias that people don’t want to see the stewards exhibit though? The fact that it is his home race shouldn’t be a mitigating factor: as Keith notes, even if, in this situation, there was less of a risk, breaching rules which have been set up to provide protection for track workers during a red flag period is still a careless action and therefore he should be penalised in just the same way as any other driver would be.

          1. Favoritism and bias does not apply to underdogs (as fans are concerned).

          2. Mickey's Miniature Grandpa
            23rd March 2018, 18:38

            It’s been my experience that 9 times out of 10 when people moan about favouritism in F1 what they’re really moaning about is a failure to show favouritism towards their preferred driver and/or team.

          3. @ianbond001, I don’t know if you could really call Ricciardo an underdog when he is racing for one of the largest teams on the grid and is a multiple race winner.

            That said, I do agree that people are more inclined to want to bend or relax the rules when it involves a popular driver, particularly if they are a front running driver. If, for example, it had happened to Lance Stroll in Canada, I expect that the response wouldn’t be “it’s his home race, so we should let him off for that one”, or express sympathy for misfortunes in his home race – instead, I expect most fans would be abusing him and calling him incompetent or reckless, or at the very least saying that the penalty was fully deserved, rather than seeking to exonerate or excuse his actions.

      3. Hey @keithcollantine, sorry to post here but what is happening with the Predictions? Running out of time before qualy!

      4. “The stewards reviewed the data and found that Ricciardo did in fact fail to stay above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU in the penultimate and final marshalling sectors,” the said in a statement.”

        This makes it sound like he went too slow.
        Something isn’t making sense. Don’t you just hate / love double negatives. Never fails to avoid confusion.

        1. There’s no double negative in that statement. He failed to go slowly enough, hence was below the minimum time for the sector. Since he was quicker than the minimum he sped. If the minimum time was 30 seconds and he did it in 27 seconds he went faster than allowed.

        2. @rekibsn
          Read again: “fail to stay above the minimum time” -> The rules require the drivers to stay above a minimum time (i.e. they have to be slower than that), and Ricciardo failed to do that.
          In other words, he was too fast.

          In fact, the only negative I can detect in that sentence is ‘fail to’.

        3. Mickey's Miniature Grandpa
          23rd March 2018, 18:39

          I couldn’t fail to disagree less.

      5. @keithcollantine Indeed. On the road though one must drive significantly above the limit to break the law. The stewards judge that being slightly below the time warranted 3 places? What if he had just ignored the red flag? Electric chair sponsored by mercedes.

        1. i was booked for 57 in a 55 zone! i cried but they still wrote me a ticket! my friend got a ticket for 31 in a 30 zone!

      6. @keithcollantine I agree not slowing down is dangerous, but they also said that “the driver slowed significantly, such that no danger was created, and that the driver proceeded with due care”

        So no danger yet still gets quite the penalty. While in Hungary under double waved yellow, Rosberg just braked a tiny bit extra going into corner and then continued to set a pole time. Which he was allowed to keep!

        1. @patrickl I’m pretty sure that they took the caution that DR did take into account and thus penalized him less so than they could have. He did remove much of the danger, and they acknowledge his effort, but he was still technically infringing on the rule by not quite doing enough.

          The Rosberg thing as I recall was just a fluke timing thing. The double yellows were there and then gone because, I believe it was Alonso, had not stalled after all and had gotten going, so that by the time Nico got there, there was no danger, no car off the track. The tiny braking he did was enough for them to know he acknowledged the flags but those flags were very quickly gone. A rare scenario that probably couldn’t be duplicated if they tried. I remember the ad infinitum debate and it seemed those that thought Nico should have been penalized kept saying ‘but if there was a car there…’ when indeed there never was a car there, because FA had carried on by the time Nico got there.

      7. It’s almost like Bernie is still there, stirring the pot to create headlines, and that piece of “Debris” could easily have been removed under yellows. Yes, I’m all for safety, but not if gets as silly as Nascar where they seem to look for any excuse to have a commercial break, oops sorry, full-course yellow.

  4. His home track never does reward him, does it

    1. It’s not his “home track” that got the him the punishment, it’s himself. This is what happens when you don’t slow down under the Red Flag. This is an important safety rule.

    2. Well, Ricciardo did have a temporary podium in Aus in 2014 and when he got up there, he uttered the all time greatest podium statement of all time: “I’m tripping balls!”. Gotta love the guy.

  5. On the bright side, we might get to see a few of his overtakes !!
    Pretty sure he wont qualify in the top 5 tomorrow. The lower the better so that we get to see more overtakes.

  6. I am trackside and just heard this- so angry it’s not funny!!!
    But if he done it no way to argue- but again at home!! FFS

  7. Ron would have run interference, never liked the guy, but he would always interfere as much as possible for the fans sake!

  8. For RIC, if he gets couple of more penalties, heˇll probably fight for the victory :) Wouldnˇt be the first time…

  9. However, he admitted an error in reading his dash and was slightly below the minimum time.

    I tried to find out by what amount of time Ricciardo had gone under the time limit required but no one seems to be saying, which suggests to me it was by just a few seconds. The evidence is Ricciardo slowed down a lot, so he was trying to stay within the regulations. Second Final Practice is run between 4 pm and 5.30 pm, when the sun is low on the horizon, so it could be the sun was making it difficult to read the time on the display.
    I think the Stewards should have said exactly how much time he went under the minimum time.

    1. in the official paper work, probably it s written and shown properly, but press i doubt they cross every ts and writes every comma…

      1. I was disappointed with this verdict by the Stewards. No evidence was presented in the report that actually justified this penalty, I think it was unduly harsh. The report is poorly written.

  10. This is one of those rules that has to be enforced to the exact letter, with no exceptions, because the consequences of breaking the rules could be potentially fatal. A driver whose car has stopped on the track is totally vulnerable as are the the other drivers who might collide with the stopped car AND the marshals.

  11. Sick and tired of these bloody stewards thinking that F1 is all about them .
    If DR slowed significantly that’s it, why the rest of the BS . F1 is just killing itself with these data crunching no leeway penalties. A stewards warning is all that was warranted in this case .
    If F1 gets any safer the drivers won’t even be able to sign autographs in fear of getting a paper cut .
    The Australian F1 sponsors need to speak up and walk with their cash as I will on Monday morning never to return to this absurdity of a sport.

    1. Also , where is Horner and Marko on this ,haven’t heard a peep . If it was Max they’d be jumping all lover the stewards and media to put their case .

  12. And who gets a penalty for not applying the timing sensors to the track properly? Thats who should be getting in trouble, as well as a bunch of drivers with pitchforks knocking on his door.

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