Daniel Ricciardo endures nightmare weekend at Australian Grand Prix


MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 17: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Renault Sport Formula One Team RS19 makes a pit stop during the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on March 17, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

Dan Ricciardo was in the F1 wars less than 100 metres into the AGP.

Squeezed by Sergio Perez in the midfield pack, he drove across the pitlane exit road and the bumpy ride tore the front wing from his Renault.

A first-lap pitstop put him right at the rear, even behind the awful and awfully slow Williams of Robert Kubica.

He wasn’t the only one enduring problems with Robert Kubica also losing his front wing on the first lap.

Carlos Sainz was the first retirement of the race.

Smoke turned to fire as Sainz dribbled into the pits to retire his McLaren-Renault.

There was a fundamental failure in the rear end of the car he had qualified in only 18th place, compared to his team mate Lando Norris in eight, and the team wanted him back in the pits.

But he only made it into the start of the pitlane, closer to the Supercars camp than the F1 garages, before pulling it up.

“No power. No power,” Sainz reported.

There was plenty of smoke as he stopped then, as he went through the complicated shutdown procedure, the back end erupted with flames.

It took three fire marshalls to get the blaze under control before Sainz walked back as the race’s first retirement.