British GP: Daniel Ricciardo hit with five place grid penalty

Similar to Valtteri Bottas, Australian Ricciardo has taken a new, unscheduled gearbox, demoting him five places on the grid.

British GP: Daniel Ricciardo hit with five place grid penalty
Daniel Riciardo felt Red Bull could challenge Ferrari at Silverstone, but a five place penalty makes that a little harder. (Image Credit: Mark Thompson/ Getty Images)

Daniel Ricciardo's hopes of putting pressure on Ferrari in Sunday's Formula 1 British Grand Prix have taken a blow after the Red Bull driver was hit with a five-place-grid penalty. 

As gearbox's must last six events, and Ricciardo's had only gone in Canada, he will drop five positions from whereever he qualfies after Red Bull decided to change it. 

Ricciardo had finished well inside the top 10, during First, Second and Third practice, feeling comfortable in the car.

If a driver does not finish a race, or the gearbox is obviously damaged, then a fresh unit may be taken at the driver's next event. However, seeing as Ricciardo was on the podium in Austria, he does not qualifiy for a free change, and drops back.

The penalty puts into doubt his chances of making it six successive races on the podium, but could put him in a squabble with the Ferrari's something the Australian believes is possible for Red Bull this weekend, with Mercedes just too fast. 

It is the third gearbox penalty in just over a week, after Lewis Hamilton was demoted in Austria, and his own team-mate Valtteri Bottas was handed a five place penalty of his own for Silverstone for the same technical reasons to Hamilton. 

Next change in Japan

Provided Ricciardo does not change his gearbox again, his next alloted change race, is at the Japanese Grand Prix in October. 

This new unit he has put in will have to cope with the twists and turns of Hungary and Singapore, but also with the flat-out nature of Spa and Monza, while dealing with the flowing nature to Silverstone and the final Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang in October. 

Should such penalties be abolished?

There have been calls to scrap grid penalties for gearbox and engine changes, those who support doing it, say that it is not the drivers fault that their equipment is faulty and the team should be punished for it's own mistake.

However, the driver and the car are on, when the driver takes the joy of pole or a win, the car is also lauded, but when it breaks down, it is not the driver's fault. The two are intertwined and the current system works well. 


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