MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Daniel Ricciardo’s Australian Grand Prix jinx struck again on Friday with the Red Bull driver handed a three-place grid penalty for his home race for going too fast during red flag conditions.
Stewards, who also gave the Australian two penalty points, said the breach occurred during the day’s second practice session at Albert Park.
Ricciardo had admitted an error in reading his dashboard display, they added.
“The Stewards thoroughly reviewed the breach and found that the driver slowed significantly, such that no danger was created, and that the driver proceeded with due care,” stewards said in a statement.
“The Stewards therefore are imposing a lesser penalty than usual, and impose a three grid place penalty and two penalty points.”
No Australian has ever won his home Grand Prix but Ricciardo was seen as a contender this season, with Red Bull looking fast in testing.
In 2014, he finished second in his debut race for Red Bull but was disqualified soon after for a mechanical infringement that was no fault of his own.
He just missed out on a maiden podium for a home driver in 2016 when he finished fourth, while last year he crashed in qualifying, started from the pitlane and then retired midway through the race.
“It has to be more fun (this year),” he had said on Thursday.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London; Editing by John O'Brien