Daniel Ricciardo has received a 10-place grid penalty for the Bahrain Grand Prix as part of the clampdown on unsafe releases from pit stops since last year’s incident at the Nurburgring, when a TV cameraman was injured.
Under a new rule introduced this year, drivers can get both a stop and go penalty in the current race and a grid penalty for the next event.
At his second stop, Ricciardo accelerated away with his left-front wheel not properly secured.
“The rules I think are pretty clear,” said Red Bull boss Christian Horner. “For an unsafe release it’s a stop/go penalty of 10 seconds and a 10-place grid penalty at the next race. The punishment is harsh for the crime, but unfortunately it is the rules.”
Horner admitted that the pit crew simply made a mistake.
“The wheel wasn’t located correctly. It went on OK, it was done up, the gun man felt that something wasn’t quite right, and in going to check and put an extra couple of turns into it the latch on the gun had switched back across, so he effectively undid it. It’s one of those things. The pit crew has got the fastest pit stops in the pit lane, and today a mistake was made. That’s how it goes sometimes.”