A big ask ahead for Ric­cia­rdo

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT -

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

clear of

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.