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Gutter leaves Ricciardo gutted

NEWS STORY
17/03/2019

Still to make it to the top step of the podium at his home race, today Daniel Ricciardo barely made it to the first corner.

Today was the eighth time the Renault driver has contested his home race, and while he stood alongside Nico Rosberg and Kevin Magnussen on the podium in Melbourne in 2014, his first season with Red Bull, he was subsequently disqualified due to a fuel rate issue.

In 2013 he retired, as was the case in 2017, while his best finish to date - other than that disqualification - is fourth, which he achieved in 2016 and again last year.

While he wasn't expecting a podium finish this time around, he was aiming for a points finish, and based on teammate Nico Hulkenberg's run to seventh this was entirely possible.

Unfortunately, despite a strong start, as he raced off the grid alongside Sergio Perez, Ricciardo went wide and onto the grass, subsequently hitting a gutter which ripped off his front wing and damaged his bargeboard.

Doing well to slow the car and thereby not T-bone Perez - and others - in Turn 1, Ricciardo subsequently pitted for a new front wing but was eventually forced to retire due to other damage incurred in the first lap incident.

"I feel that was pretty unlucky," said the Australian. "I just put two wheels on the grass and the next thing there's a massive gutter there, or a gutter ditch.

"Sergio's start wasn't great," he added. "I had a bit of a run... he made a little flinch, but when it happens that quick, you see him move, so I moved, then he straightened up, and the next thing I'm on the grass.

"But you never know how much he's going to move," he admitted. "Because he was still in front at the time, you just follow his initial reaction. That second one just put my wheel in the grass.

"When I hit the grass, I wasn't actually too concerned. I thought I'd just drive through it and I thought I had enough momentum to stay alongside him. But obviously that ditch was there, and that was it."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Melbourne, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Mad Matt, 18/03/2019 12:12

"I think he still had two wheels on the black stuff so if he had succeeded it would have been within the rules. Shame this happened at his home Grand Prix."

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2. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 18/03/2019 11:25

"That will be flat tarmac next season, guaranteed."

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3. Posted by F1nerd, 18/03/2019 9:30

"Sorry for you Ric but you need to keep on the black stuff."

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4. Posted by GarH, 18/03/2019 8:46

"If he'd got away with overtaking by going on the grass, would he have received a penalty for exceeding track limits?
"

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