Daniel Ricciardo hit with PENALTY at Australian Grand Prix: Stewards explain why

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"I think obviously their vehicle and their package is too good", he added.

Ricciardo therefore entered qualifying with the sanction hanging over him, and was a low-key fifth in Q3, meaning he will drop to eighth on the grid.

"I don't think (the stewards) wanted to give him the penalty but they had to", the Briton said.

"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", added the FIA's report. He failed to finish last year's race after suffering a power unit problem.

For Daniel Ricciardo, his home Australian Grand Prix has been an exasperating mix of desperately willing fans and mostly unwilling cars.

Ricciardo, along with Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen, opted to complete Q2 on the Supersoft tyres, as opposed to the Ultrasoft compound preferred by their rivals.

Vettel and Hamilton
GETTY Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton resume their rivalry on the track tomorrow

Vettel fuelled the fire in the Albert Park pre-race press conference when asked about a reprisal of his Red Bull partnership of 2014 with Ricciardo, saying, "We get along [and] I wouldn't mind if we get together again in the future, but I don't know what his plans are".

Daniel Ricciardo admits he is still "pissed" at the three-place grid penalty he has been handed for the Australian Grand Prix, calling the drop "s***house". "To be honest, I feel sorry for the guys in front of me tomorrow as they're the ones I'm going to have to take my anger out on".

Off contract Ricciardo is looking to impress in his eighth F1 season after postponing extension talks with Red Bull and being linked to Mercedes and Ferrari in 2019.

The first race of the 2018 Formula One season is slated to begin on March 25 in Melbourne - the Australian Grand Prix. Before the cars had turned a wheel at Albert Park last week, Ricciardo's voice was nearly shot, a result of countless interviews answering "5000 questions" about his future, and he was relieved to strap himself into Red Bull's RB14 machine for practice on Friday.

"It's eating away at him but we have to deal with it".

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