The Dutch driver who won the last two Mexico Grand Prix races was stripped of his pole position by race stewards for failing to slow down for a yellow flag that was waved after a Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas crashed.
High hopes of a meaningful Formula One title race will face their first test at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday as five-times champion Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team seek to crush the pre-season optimism surrounding Ferrari.
"It was probably one of the most difficult decisions to take in my career so far. But I thought that it was time for me to take on a fresh and new challenge," says Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo who is joining Renault Sport F1.
The Briton's drive from pole to flag on an overcast afternoon was lonely, uneventful and dominant.
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