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Horner: Ricciardo's penalty is harsh

Monday 31-March-2014 13:47

Although Christian Horner believes Daniel Ricciardo's 10-place grid penalty for Bahrain is "harsh", he concedes that is the rule.

Ricciardo was hit with a drive-through penalty in Sunday's Malaysian GP when Red Bull released him from the pits with a loose left front wheel.

The error was compounded after the grand prix when the Aussie was also handed a 10-place grid penalty for the next race in Bahrain.

Horner says it is a harsh punishment but concedes it is laid out in the regulations.

"The rules are pretty clear," the team boss told Autosport.

"For an unsafe release, it is a stop-go penalty of 10 seconds and a 10-place grid penalty for the next race, so the punishment is harsh for the crime.

"It is the rules, so that is what it will be."

As for Red Bull's error, it was an unusual mistake from a team that in the past has dominated the pit stop battles.

"The wheel wasn't located correctly," Horner explained. "It went on OK, it was done up, but the gunman felt that something wasn't quite right.

"He was going to check and put an extra couple of turns into it, but the latch on the gun had switched back across so he effectively undid it.

"It is one of those things. Our pit crew have the fastest pit stops in the pit lane and a mistake was made, but that is how it goes sometimes."

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