Formula One: Angry Daniel Ricciardo slams stewards for grid penalty

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Ricciardo was then summoned to see the stewards before being slapped with a three-place grid penalty for the opening race of the 2018 Formula One season.

The Western Australian was sanctioned for driving too fast under red flag conditions during Friday's second free practice.

"I think obviously their vehicle and their package is too good", he added.

"I thought it was unjust", Ricciardo said on his penalty.

Red Bull's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo
Red Bull's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo

"I think we're the only ones in the top 10 to do that so hopefully that's going to work to our favour", he said.

Ricciardo had been on his qualifying simulation lap when the red flag came in.

"I'm pissed to say the least".

A year ago, Ricciardo received a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change before retiring early.

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Daniel Ricciardo drives the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB14 TAG Heuer during a practice for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 23, 2018.

But having seen Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen covered by just 0.061s at one point before an eventual margin of 0.715s, Ricciardo concedes the German manufacturer is simply "too good".

"I don't really know with the balance what I could have done, there's much, much more [pace] there so I'll see now but yeah, for sure it's frustrating a little bit". "They could give me a reprimand, give me a fine for all I care, but don't rob me of a front-row start".

"It's hard enough for us to understand let alone explain it to the fans", Horner said.

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Ricciardo tried to vent his frustration in Saturday's final practice before qualifying but could only manage sixth fastest at a wet Albert Park.

Off contract Ricciardo is looking to impress in his eighth F1 season after postponing extension talks with Red Bull and being linked to Mercedes and Ferrari in 2019. "It's still eating him up and he's still pretty revved up about it".

While Ricciardo has outscored Verstappen in their two seasons together at Red Bull, the Dutchman out-qualified Ricciardo 13-7 in the 20 races past year, his searing one-lap speed seeing the Australian regularly sport an atypically furrowed brow on Saturdays, and starting behind him for the grands prix on Sundays.

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