Daniel Ricciardo’s difficult season continues as he takes yet another grid penalty for this weekends Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
Ricciardo will get his sixth turbo of the season and will therefore drop 10-places on the grid from wherever he qualifies on Saturday afternoon.
This season has been one to forget for the Australian with eight retirements to his name – with four of them coming in the last seven races including that painful one last time out in Mexico, a race that his teammate Max Verstappen would go on to win in convincing fashion.
It’s fair to say that Ricciardo’s younger teammate Verstappen hasn’t been hit with quite the same reliability woes as he has, with only four retirements to his name, the last of which came at Hungary. This has sparked mass debate and controversy, with many people calming that Red Bull may be tampering with Ricciardo’s car, making his last few races with Red Bull as awful as possible before he moves to Renault next season.
A dejected Ricciardo even told reporters after his Mexican GP retirement, “This car’s cursed! There’s no more point coming on a Sunday, there’s two more races left but I don’t honestly see the point in coming.”
Given Red Bull’s harsh nature of sacking or demoting drivers, many people wondered if Ricciardo would finish off the season with Torro Rosso, handing his ‘cursed car’ to his 2019 replacement Pierre Gasly.
However, it was announced earlier this week that Ricciardo would finish off the season with Red Bull as planned with Ricciardo explaining, “I will be doing the last two races, that’s what I’m about. I’m not about that other life. It’s been obviously massive highs and lows this year, more lows unfortunately. It’s been frustrating, I won’t lie. I look to myself and all the guys who work their butts off to give it two more cracks before we see each other off. So, I will be there. I just needed a few days off, really. It feels good.”
Ricciardo finished free practice 1 at Brazil in fourth position, three tenths off his teammate Verstappen who finished the session quickest with a time of 1.09.011. Free practice 2 gets underway at 5:00pm UK time.
By Jordan Hollands