Aussie pays the turbo penalty
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.