Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was handed a 10-place grid penalty for next weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix following a pit stop error which led to his retirement from Sunday’s race in Malaysia.
Ricciardo received a stop-go penalty during the race for the unsafe release by his team after a pit stop when his front left wheel was not properly secured.
The Australian was lying fourth when he pitted with 15 laps to go, but after the tyre change had to stop in the pit lane and be pushed back by his mechanics for the wheel to be fixed.
He rejoined a lap down but then had to return to the pits with a broken front wing before he retired on lap 53 of the 56 laps.
Team principal Christian Horner said the wing was probably damaged as a result of the faulty tyre change.
“It doesn’t look like the car has got on the jack properly (at the pit stop),” he said. The front-left then didn’t attach. We think the problem with the wing may well have been done on the front jack. We need to take a look at the video.” The mishap was another setback for 24-year-old Ricciardo, who finished second at the Australian Grand Prix, only to be disqualified for a fuel-flow infringement. Red Bull has appealed the ruling.
But the Red Bull newcomer, who has succeeded fellow Australian Mark Webber alongside four—time world champion Sebastian Vettel, has performed well in his first two races.
“He got stuck in at the start and he is a real quality act and I have been nothing but impressed with him since he arrived. I think there is a lot to come from him,” Horner said.
Ricciardo said of the latest mishap: “I am disappointed, it was looking like we could have a solid points finish and I was starting to mix it up at the front but at the last pit stop there were all the problems so the race ended pretty quickly for me.
“Deep down I am really disappointed but there is a bit in me which is happy because I have come out how i wanted to in the first two races, I want to improve but there are things to be pleased with.”