Qualifying: penalty for Red Bull driver Ricciardo
Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo receives a direct penalty at the Formula 1 season opener in Melbourne. The Australian is downgraded in the qualification.
The chances of an Australian Formula 1 driver clinching first place on the podium at his home race have already decreased before qualifying (Saturday, 7.00 a.m. CET at the LIVETICKER). Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo, five-time Grand Prix winner, was relegated three places by the race commissioners on Friday. The 28-year-old had driven too fast in free practice under the red flag.
Since 1985, no Australian has finished fourth in 33 editions at the home Grand Prix, including Ricciardo himself (2016).
Vettel only fifth
With his new Ferrari SF71H Sebastian Vettel did not get past fifth place in the first units before the season opener in Melbourne. World champion Hamilton in the Mercedes was unbeatable in both units, with his fastest time of 1:23.931 minutes the Englishman was 0.520 seconds faster than his permanent rival from Hessen.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen (Netherlands/+0.127), Hamilton’s Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas (+0.228) and also Vettel’s stable mate Kimi Räikkönen (Finland/+0.283) pushed their way between Hamilton and Vettel in the Albert Park of Melbourne.