Valtteri Bottas 'Quite Surprised' By Ferrari's Pace At Australian Grand Prix

It continues Ricciardo's run of wretched luck at his home grand prix where he is seeking to become the race's first Australian victor in 37 years.

While Max Verstappen did manage to reach the flag, the gap to race victor and former Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel, was far greater than anyone had envisaged after pre-season testing. "Hopefully it can be cleared and he can still take the start of the race".

Daniel Ricciardo will again carry his nation's hopes of a first home victor at the season-opening Grand Prix at Albert Park on Sunday and it would be a well-earned victory for the Red Bull driver after a punishing week off the track.

But despite some experts and drivers suggesting that Ferrari were the early season favourites, Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton once again find themselves in pole position going into the race.

Daniel Ricciardo moved back to number 15 on the 20-car starting grid.

Bookmakers had pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton as a heavy favourite to win at Albert Park but the Briton finished runner-up, almost 10 seconds behind Vettel after complaining of poor grip on the lakeside circuit.

"Some you win, some you lose and today the Ferrari was the quicker auto".

Ricciardo eventually started the race from pit lane, joining with instructions from Red Bull to have fun and "get stuck in" after the leaders had already completed the first of 57 scheduled laps on the 5.303-kilometer (3.295-mile) Albert Park circuit.

Sebastian Vettel has drawn first blood in the 2017 Formula 1 season, storming home to win in Melbourne after Aussie Daniel Ricciardo's trouble-plagued weekend forced him out of the race. "I'll wake up tomorrow and be motivated to get ready for China".

Sunday's race will start at an odd hour in the United States, as many Formula One races do.

A unique team with an odd history, Sahara Force India has gone through four names in four years in the late 2000s, they have always punched above their weight, occasionally finishing in the top three. I believe there is more people here supporting me than anyone else and I'm sure they would have loved for me to get out there and race.

"We made a big step in Q2, it was looking alright, but then the [first lap] in Q3 was a little messy and Turn 14 just caught me out, caught me by surprise". All factors considered, including natural track evolution, running faster tyre options during qualifying and relative fuel loads, the performance of the auto has gone backwards throughout the weekend. "We are athletes, and Formula One should be the most physically demanding sport in terms of all the driving series".

"I put Ultrasofts on, by that stage I might be up to about eighth, and I come from eighth through to third and then the first two guys get disqualified". And when they left Vettel out for those few extra laps, I was anxious but it worked out well.

  • Julie Sanders