Ricciardo stripped of front row spot

Daniel Ricciardo has been stripped of his front row grid position for the opening Formula Renault 3.5 race at Monza

Ricciardo stripped of front row spot

The Australian was excluded from the results because of a loose-fitting bolt on his ISR car that caused the side-skirt to work loose.

The Red Bull Junior driver is 17th in the drivers' championship after missing the first round at Motorland to take part in free practice for Toro Rosso at the Chinese Grand Prix. Ricciardo had a difficult start to his championship at Spa-Francorchamps a fortnight ago.

"Basically, a bolt has come loose on the side skirt," cursed Ricciardo. "Everything is still on the car, though. I can't believe we're the only ones to have this happen. In qualifying you are using the exit kerbs, and I have obviously been on a few of them.

"The problem is they're saying everything has to be tightened. If it had dropped off on the circuit it probably wouldn't be a problem. You don't have to run the side-skirts. Now we start last, and we're all very disappointed."

ISR was stripped of an on-the-road victory at Silverstone in 2010 when a technical rule was applied to the letter of the law following a piece of tape being used on the bodywork.

"The team were a bit unfortunate with decisions going against them last year and that has seemed to continue," said Ricciardo. "The car was good today, although we lost a bit of time in the first sector. We were still quickest in the second sector, so we're doing alright for ourselves. We are trying, but we're not getting much out of it."

Ricciardo is currently 68 points behind series leader Robert Wickens, and admits his title prospects are slim.

"I am not even thinking about the championship," said Ricciardo. "I just want to get out and race at the front. It is a circuit where you can overtake, but realistically we're now a long shot."

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