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SportBizarre reason for Ricciardo's Aussie GP struggle

06:50  16 march  2019
06:50  16 march  2019 Source:   wwos.ninemsn.com.au

Ricciardo's sad Red Bull admission

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Daniel Ricciardo has angrily criticised stewards for failing to use "common sense" in issuing him a three-place grid penalty for his home Australian GP . The full FIA reasoning for Ricciardo ' s penalty 'The Stewards examined telemetry, video, car position data evidence and hard from Daniel Ricciardo

A FRUSTRATED Daniel Ricciardo has bemoaned his luck after another engine failure at the US GP , and admits he is “running out of races” to celebrate with Red Daniel Ricciardo ’ s time at Red Bull is drifting towards an unhappy end. FOR the man with the biggest smile in sport, Daniel Ricciardo has

Bizarre reason for Ricciardo's Aussie GP struggle© 2019 Getty Images MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 15: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault Sport F1 looks on in the garage during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on March 15, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) The first day of running for the 2019 Formula One season is in the books, and after four months without a race the opening day of practice raised almost as many questions as it answered.

Ferrari looked the goods during pre-season testing in Barcelona, but mysteriously struggled in Melbourne. Mercedes topped the timesheets, while it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault outfit.

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Daniel Joseph Ricciardo (/rɪˈkɑːrdoʊ/ "Ricardo"; born 1 July 1989) is an Australian racing driver who is currently competing in Formula One for the Renault F1 Team.

Ahead of qualifying this afternoon Wide World of Sports looks at the big issues raised by the first two practice sessions.

Are Ferrari sandbagging?

That’s the million dollar question. The Italian team looked to have a comfortable advantage during testing in Spain, with some estimates suggesting Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc had a car that was half a second per lap quicker than their nearest rivals.

The pair were very much on the pace in the first practice session yesterday, with both drivers within eight-hundredths of a second of Lewis Hamilton’s best time. But in the second session, when teams started to stretch their legs a little, the best Ferrari could do was fifth with Vettel, nearly nine-tenths of a second behind Hamilton. Are the red cars keeping something in reserve for qualifying and the race? Or have we all been hoodwinked by pre-season testing (again)?

Ricciardo to show true colours for Renault

Ricciardo to show true colours for Renault Daniel Ricciardo may not agree with Renault's colours but he has no other complaints about his new team ahead of this weekend's Formula One opener in Melbourne. Perth-born Ricciardo said donning the new colours for the first time since his shock exit from Red Bull "feels right" ahead of his Renault debut at this weekend's season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Even after he was reminded that it may give the wrong idea to Tigers fans in AFL-made Melbourne. "I have worn a navy blue race suit for Red Bull since 2008, since I was a junior," he said.

The last Australian driver to win the AGP was 1980 World Champion Alan Jones who won 1980' s non-championship race. The last Australian driver to officially finish on the podium was John Smith in 1983. Australia' s only current (2017) Grand Prix driver Daniel Ricciardo had finished 2nd in the 2014 race

Australian Grand Prix chief Andrew Westacott says the season-opening race is on track to eclipse last year' s attendance figures, with interest in local hero Daniel Ricciardo still high. Westacott is confident the overall crowd figure for the four-day event at the Albert Park circuit will exceed 300,000 people

Don’t forget, in recent years Ferrari has made a habit of setting the fastest time in pre-season testing, only for Mercedes drivers to claim the world title. They don’t hand out world championship points in February.

Bizarre reason for Ricciardo's Aussie GP struggle© AAP German Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Ferrari

Only a fool would write off Ferrari after one day of practice. But Vettel is already claiming Mercedes didn’t show their full potential in Barcelona.

Horror start for Renault at Aussie GP

Horror start for Renault at Aussie GP Daniel Ricciardo's Renault outfit have suffered a difficult opening practice session at the Australian Grand Prix.

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As he prepares for his home Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo writes about flying the Australian flag on the world stage, and why one Albert Park moment is the highlight of his year. The hometown support never gets old for me. © Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool.

“They looked very strong - and a lot stronger than they claimed before the weekend,” he told Sky F1.

“They were in a league of their own.”

Ferrari were only a tenth of a second clear of Alfa Romeo and Renault in the second practice session. That suggests the Scuderia still has something in reserve.

It makes for a fascinating qualifying this afternoon, when there is nowhere to hide. Both Ferrari and Mercedes will be giving it everything, and we’ll get our first true indication of where exactly they stand.

Red Bull are in with a shout

Let’s be frank, Honda hasn’t exactly set the world on fire since returning to Formula One in 2015. In fact, they were downright embarrassing during their stint with McLaren. But after a reasonably year with Toro Rosso in 2018, the Japanese manufacturer seems to have got its act together, and now that their powerplant is in the back of the Red Bull cars, we could see them challenging for wins in 2019.

It’s clear Red Bull isn’t the frontrunner, but they look close enough to once again challenge at certain circuits. Both Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly were eight-tenths off the pace in 3rd and 4th in the second practice session, “best of the rest” behind the two Mercedes cars.

Ricciardo frustrated at missing out on top 10 grid place

Ricciardo frustrated at missing out on top 10 grid place Ricciardo frustrated at missing out on top 10 grid place

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Ricciardo Kart is a line of go-karts which covers the whole range of categories, from Mini-kart, to Rotax and the CIK-FIA classes. Ricciardo Kart has been completed with an official racing team in major competitions: Ricciardo Kart Racing.

Bizarre reason for Ricciardo's Aussie GP struggle© AAP Max Verstappen

Changing engine suppliers can be fraught with danger (just ask McLaren), but at this early stage Red Bull seem well placed to be amongst the lead battles once again in 2019.

"Would l say Red Bull are right there with Mercedes and Ferrari? No. But they are right at the sharp end and Max looks on it," said former driver, now Sky F1 pundit, Paul di Resta.

The midfield battle will be fascinating

Renault finished 2018 as the fourth best team, but early indications are that Daniel Ricciardo’s new team faces a tough battle to retain that position in 2019. That’s not to say they can’t do it, but the likes of Alfa Romeo and Haas look to have taken a step forward.

In the opening practice session less than half a second covered positions 6-15, meaning one mistake during qualifying can see a top 10 grid position vanish in the blink of an eyelid. In such a competitive midfield, recovering from such a blunder could prove next to impossible on raceday.

Bizarre reason for Ricciardo's Aussie GP struggle© AAP Ricciardo and Renault teammate Nico Hulkenberg face an uphill task

The opening day wasn’t without difficulties for Renault – Nico Hulkenberg missed much of the first session with an electronics issue, while Ricciardo had issues fitting into his custom-made seat, the Australian insisting he hadn’t been returning for seconds at the buffet.

Daniel Ricciardo left feeling 'flat' after retiring from Australian Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo left feeling 'flat' after retiring from Australian Grand Prix "I feel like it is hard to get things going here but also today I feel I was pretty unlucky."

NINE AUSTRALIAN F1 fans were locked up in Malaysia after stripping off to celebrate Daniel Ricciardo ' s win in Sepang, Malaysia on Sunday. Daniel Ricciardo of Australia steers his car during the win. The budgie smugglers - even with the Malaysian flag - did not impress the local constabulary

DANIEL Ricciardo has blasted his way past teammate Max Verstappen in a stunning drive to claim DANIEL Ricciardo stunned the entire grid this morning in qualifying before capping it off with one of And the 29-year-old Aussie , months away from jumping ship to Renault, couldn’t quite believe it

“We wanted to go out,” he said.

“Frustrating for the mechanics as well. The belts, the measurements were not adding up. I have not got fat!

“I have not been eating too much this week - I have been too busy to be eating. It was a bit of a time delay, but I could tell that everyone was getting a bit frustrated.”

Williams faces a very long year

Back in 1996 when Formula One turned up to Melbourne for the first time, Williams locked out the front row of the grid with Jacques Villeneuve and Damon Hill, and the pair duly recorded a 1-2 finish. Sadly for the legendary team, their drivers are likely to be side-by-side on the grid again this year, but this time on the back row.

There’s no shortage of talent behind the wheel of the two cars, with debutant George Russell winning the GP3 title in 2017 and the Formula 2 championship in 2018, while Robert Kubica is a former grand prix winner, returning to the sport eight years after his near-fatal rally accident.

But all the ability in the world can’t mask the fact the car just isn’t good enough. The team missed the start of pre-season testing, and have been on the back foot ever since. In both practice sessions yesterday the drivers were at the tail of the field, and by some considerable margin. In a sport where times are measured to the thousandth of a second, the sight of Williams struggling to get within two seconds of their nearest rival is a depressing scene for the once proud outfit.

Daniel Ricciardo caps horror Australian F1 Grand Prix by swearing on camera.
A "drained" Daniel Ricciardo capped off a weekend from hell at the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne by suggesting a BBC reporter should "shut the f*** up" while being interviewed post-race.

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