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Ricciardo hit with grid penalty for Saudi Arabian GP, McLaren fined

Ricciardo hit with grid penalty for Saudi Arabian GP, McLaren fined

F1 News

Ricciardo hit with grid penalty for Saudi Arabian GP, McLaren fined

Ricciardo hit with grid penalty for Saudi Arabian GP, McLaren fined

Daniel Ricciardo has been hit with a three-place grid penalty for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to compound his early-season woes.

The McLaren driver and team-mate Lando Norris at least showed improvement in qualifying for the race at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit after their pace troubles in the season-opening weekend in Bahrain a week ago.

The duo finished 12th and 11th respectively, with Norris missing out on a place in the top 10 by just 0.033secs to Mercedes' George Russell.

Ricciardo, however, was adjudged to have impeded Alpine's Esteban Ocon at one stage in qualifying and has been penalised accordingly, with McLaren also fined €10,000.

Ricciardo drops to 15th, although with Haas officially withdrawing 14th-placed Mick Schumacher from the race following his horror smash, it is likely the Australian will fill that slot once the grid has been determined.

A stewards' report read: "The driver [Ricciardo] admitted that he did not know that car 31 [Ocon] was coming on a fast lap as he was not told of that by his team. By the time he saw car 31 approaching, it was too late.

"The team representative admitted they had made an error in not warning their driver about car 31 approaching.

"The driver of car 31 stated that his lap had to be aborted as a result of him being unnecessarily impeded by car 3.

"Having said that, he stated that his overall performance during the session was not adversely impacted by the aborted lap.

"It was clear that car 31 was unnecessarily impeded by car 3. The fact that car 31 was ultimately able to record a faster lap is irrelevant to the fact that the infringement occurred, such that a timed lap had to be aborted.

"It was also clear the team failed in its duty to keep the driver of car 3 properly informed of approaching cars. This is particularly so given the tight nature of this circuit.

"In the circumstances, we impose a penalty of a drop of three grip positions to the driver of car 3 and a fine of Euro 10,000 to the team."

Ricciardo has also been handed a penalty point on his licence, his first in the last 12 months.

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