Aussie pays the turbo penalty

Sunday Mail - - SPORT - EMMA KEMP

AUS­TRALIA’S Daniel Ric­cia­rdo will have a five-place grid penalty im­posed for the Brazil­ian Grand Prix af­ter his Red Bull team re­placed the tur­bocharger on his car’s power unit.

Stew­ards said the sixth new tur­bocharger ex­ceeded the driver’s per­mit­ted al­lo­ca­tion, trig­ger­ing the au­to­matic drop for the penul­ti­mate race of the For­mula One sea­son.

Team prin­ci­pal Chris­tian Horner said the prob­lem was a con­se­quence of Ric­cia­rdo’s re­tire­ment at the pre­vi­ous race in Mex­ico and the lo­cal mar­shals’ use of a fire ex­tin­guisher.

“You can’t re­ally blame them, the car was ob­vi­ously smok­ing,” Horner said. “But they shot foam up the ex­haust and as it so­lid­i­fies in the turbo, it has ter­mi­nated it.

“He’ll take a five-place penalty but, hope­fully, on a track like this it’s not ac­tu­ally that big a penalty.”

Ric­cia­rdo, 29, who is join­ing Re­nault next sea­son, started the pre­vi­ous race in Mex­ico on pole po­si­tion be­fore suf­fer­ing his eighth re­tire­ment of the sea­son, twice as many as team­mate Max Ver­stap­pen.

A dis­ap­pointed Ric­cia­rdo said later he did not see the point in do­ing the last two races but soon changed his mind.

“I was an­gry and upset. At the time I felt like I meant it but deep down I didn’t,” he said.

“It was a good way to ex­press how I felt.’’

The Brazil­ian GP has no bear­ing on the con­struc­tors’ cham­pi­onship for Red Bull, which can­not over­take Fer­rari for sec­ond place or lose third. SOME­TIMES re­sults defy statis­tics, but that will be lit­tle com­fort to the Matil­das af­ter a shock 3-2 loss to world No. 39 Chile that leaves their World Cup seed­ing in the bal­ance.

For all the pos­ses­sion and the sep­a­ra­tion of 33 worl­drank­ing places, mis­takes and lack of ex­e­cu­tion cost Aus­tralia dearly yes­ter­day, and their South Amer­i­can vis­i­tors cap­i­talised to claim the first of two friendlies at Pan­thers Sta­dium.

The home side’s only con­so­la­tion was Emily van Eg­mond’s two penal­ties, but a first-half de­fen­sive howler al­lowed Fran­cisca Lara to level, and from there Alen Sta­j­cic’s world No. 6 side never ex­e­cuted in the man­ner to which they’ve been ac­cus­tomed.

Pre­cious FIFA rank­ings points were on the line in front of 15,185, a crowd top­ping even last year’s win over Brazil at the same venue.

Sta­j­cic had im­plored his team to re­dis­cover the dom­i­nance that has shot them into gen­uine World Cup con­tention in France in seven months’ time, but this loss did noth­ing for a po­ten­tial seed­ing at next month’s draw.

“That’s out of our hands now,” Sta­j­cic said.

“That will be tough now, it’s out of our con­trol.

“We cer­tainly had con­trol of the game ... they had three chances in the game and they scored three.

“We gifted them cer­tainly two of those and prob­a­bly the third one as well. It’s a lit­tle bit dis­ap­point­ing but that’s in­ter­na­tional foot­ball, you get pun­ished for er­rors.”

Thus it will go down as a re­mark­able upset for Chile, who’ll travel to New­cas­tle for Tues­day night’s re­match tar­get­ing a dou­ble scalp.

“This is huge for women’s foot­ball in Chile,” Chile coach Jose Lete­lier said.

“We have qual­i­fied for the first time ever for a World Cup ... the im­por­tant thing is to keep this level.”

For all that, the Matil­das ap­peared on track to tri­umph when they took the lead in­side nine min­utes when van Eg­mond scored from the spot.

Sam Kerr, granted acres of space by Chile’s cen­tre-backs, then shot wide on the turn but couldn’t find the top cor­ner.

The Matil­das have had pre­cious few clean sheets re­cently and an un­der-hit back-pass from Laura Alle­way en­sured this would not be one of them.

The 28-year-old left Ly­dia Wil­liams too far to run and Maria Jose Ur­ru­tia got there first. Clare Polk­in­horne’s en­su­ing clear­ance found the chest of Lara and Chile’s top scorer lobbed them both for the 20thminute equaliser.

The hosts’ self-af­flicted frus­tra­tion was com­pounded by Chile’s pluck­i­ness in de­fence, and the missed chances soon racked up. What didn’t help was the qual­ity of Paris Saint-Ger­main goal­keeper Chris­tiane Endler, who re­peat­edly de­nied the Matil­das.

NEAR MISS: Matil­das striker Sa­man­tha Kerr re­acts af­ter her shot on goal goes wide of the tar­get dur­ing her side’s in­ter­na­tional friendly against Chile at Pan­thers Sta­dium in Pen­rith yes­ter­day, and in­set, Tameka Butt is up­ended by a Chilean de­fender.

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