RED BULL PENALTY: Daniel Ricciardo's Australian GP hopes are dashed. Image: AP / Francisco Seco
Australia - Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo has been given a grid penalty for Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix after being forced to make an unscheduled gearbox change following a crash late in qualifying.
The Formula 1 governing body announced Sunday that Ricciardo, who placed third in the 2016 drivers' championship, has been penalized five spots and moved back to No. 15 on the 20-car starting grid.
LIVE: 2017 Australian GP
"It's not perfect, but it's more motivation to cut through the field and give the fans something to cheer about," said Ricciardo, the Australian driver who placed fourth here last year and won the Malaysian GP.
Lance Stroll, the 18-year-old Canadian who is making his F1 debut in Melbourne, will start at the back of the grid after his Williams also needed an unscheduled gearbox change.
The Williams team was given a suspended $27 000 fine for failing to properly inform FIA of the change.