Daniel Ricciardo Talks Priorities Ahead of This Weekend's Melbourne Grand Prix

Australian Grand Prix 2018 driver Daniel Ricciardo

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.

While Mercedes' Bottas had several off-track excursions on an occasionally ragged day for the Finnish driver, teammate Hamilton seemed to have plenty in reserve, storming through the final sector on his fastest lap to cement top spot.

Ricciardo's best finish at his home race is fourth in 2016.

"Obviously, hard to read too much into times, but you start to get a bit of an idea and you can see Mercedes really taking off where they left off (last year)", Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said.

I don't think they wanted to give him the penalty they had to.

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"They could have given a reprimand, they could have given something so to give me a grid penalty before the season started is bulls***".

In 2014, he finished second in his debut race for Red Bull but was disqualified soon after for a mechanical infringement that was no fault of his own.

That pairing could be entering the final straight as Ricciardo will become a free agent next year, raising speculation about where he will be next season given the contracts of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes and Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari are also due to expire at the end of the year. We had quite a lot of understeer.

"The vehicle was ok today", said Ricciardo.

The penalty is a heavy blow to both Ricciardo and Red Bull, who have pushed Mercedes close in practice at Albert Park.

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For Daniel Ricciardo, his home Australian Grand Prix has been an exasperating mix of desperately willing fans and mostly unwilling cars. "And I really, really hope Lewis is right that we will have a chance to fight for a title and that will ultimately make me very happy and. take my time and see what happens".

Stewards said the penalty was lessened as Ricciardo had slowed to a degree, and no "danger was created".

Ricciardo had admitted an error in reading his dashboard display, they added.

Last year, he crashed during qualifying, had to start the race from pit-lane due to a reliability problem and ended up retiring midway.

"Breach of this regulation is seen to be an extremely serious matter", race stewards said in a statement.

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