Daniel Ricciardo feels for Formula One fans after woeful weekend

Everything went wrong for Daniel Ricciardo in Melbourne. "It's been a long week. I just feel bad for the fans," said the Australian.

Daniel Ricciardo had sympathy for the home fans at the Australian Grand Prix after his race was ruined by a raft of technical problems.

Red Bull driver Ricciardo, the only Australian on the grid for the 2017 season-opener in Melbourne, crashed out in Q3 on Saturday and was then handed a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, which was set to see him start from 15th.

Things soon got worse when another gearbox issue on the warm-up lap forced the 27-year-old to start from the pits - two laps down on the field.

And although Ricciardo initially plugged away, in the hope a safety-car period may give him the chance to close the gap on his rivals, he duly retired midway through the race - team principal Christian Horner suggesting a fuel cell issue was to blame.

Ricciardo was quoted by Formula One's official website as saying: "It's been a long week.

"Don't get me wrong it's been fun, I just feel bad for everyone, the fans. I'm sure they would have loved me to get out and race.

"If I look on the bright side, the positive was that Max [Verstappen, who finished fifth in the other Red Bull] seemed to have relatively good pace - so maybe we can learn from his race pace and as a team move forward."

Ricciardo added: "It's not the weekend I wanted at home. For all these things to happen at my home race that's probably the most frustrating thing.

"We were on the back foot already after the crash in qualifying and then today we had an issue during the warm-up lap followed by a second issue in the race. On both occasions the car just came to a stop so I couldn’t do anything else. But look, it's the first race so hopefully we'll move forward from this.

"Sure I'm disappointed now but it is what it is. I've been here before so I'll wake up tomorrow and be motivated to get ready for China [the venue for the second race of the season]."

 

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