A big ask ahead for Ricciardo
AUSTRALIAN Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen will start tonight’s Russian Grand Prix at the back of the grid after being penalised for exceeding the engine change limit.
The pair finished yesterday’s practice in the top four but then were sanctioned after it emerged the team switched engines more than three times in the session at Sochi’s 5.8km Olympic Park circuit. Championship leader Lewis Hamilton led the way as Mercedes ended practice with a dominant one-two on the timesheets while Ferrari struggled.
Th e Briton, 40 points
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel with six races remaining, posted a best time of one minute 33.385 seconds on the hypersoft tyres.
Vettel ended up only fifthfastest, in 1:33.928, behind the two Red Bulls driven by Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo. His Finnish team mate Kimi Raikkonen was sixth.
The grid penalty is a fresh blow for Ricciardo, who had sat out much of the morning with mechanics working on his car, after his season looked to be getting back on track after his sixth place finish in Singapore two weeks ago.
This is the fifth time in his past eight events that the 29year- old, on the move to Renault for next season, has been hampered by mechanical issues.
After 21 events this season Ricciardo is some 155 points adrift of championship leader Hamilton with just six events remaining.
Second-placed Vettel is also running out of time to rein in Hamilton, who has seven victories to his name this season, including four of the last five.