What happened at the Australian Grand Prix?

Teams need to run the same gearbox in six consecutive events, and the five-place penalty, confirmed by the Red Bull team, for changing it drops Ricciardo from 10th to 15th for his home grand prix.

The local hope began Sunday's season-opening race at Melbourne Albert Park some two laps after the rest of the field - and from pit lane, rather than the grid.

It got worse when he had mechanical failure on the warmup and his auto was transported back to the garages.

Though Ricciardo is taking heart from Max Verstappen's solid race performance in fifth, he admits there is work to be done to bring the Renault-powered vehicle up to speed.

Having endured an exhausting week of media and sponsor events as his nation's great hope in motor sport, Ricciardo had little joy from his auto during practice and qualifying, and he could not wait to be shot of Melbourne.

Daniel Ricciardo's chances of winning the Australian Grand Prix are over after he broke down during the warm-up lap because of an electrical issue.

"Obviously right now it looks like we have equal machinery".

"It's not a weight on my shoulders", Ricciardo said at the official media conference on Thursday.

"Basically it just switched off and there was no procedure I could do to stay out there". I was lapping a few laps down, but I was getting some information, which was better than nothing. I'm sure they would have loved me to get out and race.

Sadly, his time on the track didn't last much longer, and it appeared that as he was downshifting to take turn three on lap 29, the engine simply died.

"But it just kind of snowballed from yesterday. I feel like crap, but I feel for the fans too".

But Ricciardo didn't even take his spot on the grid as an electronic sensor issue saw the vehicle get stuck in sixth gear on the outlap, where the drivers come out of the pits and circulate once to take up their grid positions.

A second formation lap - reportedly required because someone filled the wrong spot on the grip - bought him some time but he still went out onto the track well after Lewis Hamilton sped away brilliantly from pole position.

  • Julie Sanders