'I'll have a bit of fun': Ricciardo's brilliant response to F1 setback

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo's hopes of winning the German Grand Prix have been rocked by a grid penalty for using too many engine parts.

The Australian driver, who has won twice this season, will start Sunday's race at Hockenheim from the back of the grid – a bitter pill to swallow after fast practice sessions.

Ricciardo kept world champion Lewis Hamilton of the top of the timesheets in the first practice session by four thousandths of a second.

His best lap of one minute 13.525 seconds compared to Hamilton's 1:13.529 for Mercedes, and he remained upbeat about his race.

"I'm actually pretty excited,” said Ricciardo, whose wins are often against the odds, via the Formula One website.

"Coming through the pack, I'll have a bit of fun, so I'll find the right perspective from it all.

"We had pretty good one-lap pace this morning. This afternoon we focused more on the race pace and I think it seemed pretty good.

"We can improve in some areas. It’s encouraging and it gives me confidence and motivation for Sunday."

Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen was fastest in the second session, edging out Hamilton by 0.026 seconds, but the Dutchman was less confident of sustained success.

"For the moment we are (competitive). Let's wait and see what is going to happen tomorrow – of course when they turn up their engines even more," he said.

"In the race, difficult to judge because the conditions will be a bit different in terms of heat. Let's see."

Red Bull had the fastest cars on Friday. Pic: Getty

Ricciardo had to make multiple changes to the hybrid system, the energy store and the electronics unit for a combined penalty of 20 grid positions.

Drivers are allowed to use two of each specific engine part during the season before incurring penalties, but this is the third time Ricciardo is using each individual element.

With Ricciardo starting last, Red Bull could take the opportunity to make further engine element changes ahead of the race.

Red Bull's decision to make the changes here appears to be with a view to avoiding penalties at next weekend's Hungarian GP.

The tight and sinewy Hungaroring is considered one of the tracks most suited to Red Bull because of its lack of overtaking.

Ricciardo is fourth in the standings, but he could likely be overtaken by Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas (two points behind) and by Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen (13 points behind in sixth place).

with 7Sport