F1 2018 Spanish Grand Prix: Could 2nd or 3rd have won?
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Ricciardo hit with grid penalty
24 March 2018, 01:37 | Donald Newman
While Hamilton has insisted his final-lap improvement was not down to a switch to a faster engine mode, Ricciardo admitted the way Mercedes was able to turn up the power for qualifying was disheartening.
"It was just an honest mistake but should that really rob me of a front row start?"
And Ricciardo's day got significantly worse when he was found to have been going too slowly during a red flag halfway through the afternoon session.
And while Ricciardo stressed he didn't want to "discredit" the Briton's performance, he reckoned that any of F1's leading drivers would've eased to pole in the W09.
That pairing could be entering the final straight as Ricciardo will become a free agent next year, raising speculation about where he will be next season given the contracts of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes and Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari are also due to expire at the end of the year. "I've never seen him as angry as he was last night".
Ricciardo, who did not finish in last year's Melbourne race, can not now start Sunday's race any higher than fourth on the grid. The Australian aborted his lap but was too quick returning to the pits, failing to stay above the minimum delta time on his dash.
Ricciardo, who claimed his fifth win at Azerbaijan in 2017, will engage in another intriguing intra-team battle with 20-year-old Dutchman Max Verstappen, who many have tipped as a future world champion.
Ricciardo, who has won five races for Red Bull, has had a bitter record at Albert Park, where no Australian racer has won.
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President Trump said Thursday in the Oval Office that news reports of a coming mass exodus from his White House are 'very false'. In private conversations in recent weeks, Trump has reflected on his desire to reshape the administration.