Australians Mark Webber and Daniel Ricciardo couldn't believe their misfortune yesterday as their chances of performing well in their home grand prix went up in smoke.
Webber looked set to challenge for victory at Melbourne's Albert Park for the first time after qualifying second fastest, but clutch problems saw him miss the start and slip back to seventh.
He made up one place during the 58-lap race, but still finished 47 seconds behind Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen, who started seventh on the grid.
Webber, who had trouble with past starts, said nothing went right.
"We had quite a few things we needed to manage," he said.
"We didn't have a clue where to put the clutch at the start. There was no telemetry back to the guys so they were just rolling the dice.
"We then decided to pit early to try to get out of that mess and then we had a very slow first pit stop so, wow, the first 15 to 20 minutes was a real, real difficult part of the grand prix for us.
"We managed to salvage something from the end. Out of all the times in Melbourne that I needed a safety car or something to spice it up, it never came.
"That was Melbourne today. It was disappointing not to get more out of it."
Ricciardo had a day to forget in his Toro Rosso.
He finished ninth in Melbourne last year, but retired after 39 laps with a hole in his exhaust yesterday.
The young West Australian qualified in 14th place, then lost ground at the start, fought back and then had to retire.
It left Ricciardo clearly frustrated.
"I've just seen some of the body work. It seems to be quite a big hole in it. I think it's coming from the exhaust," he said."I could hear some noises so I reported it and I tried to fix it in the car with some functions, but it wasn't happening. It was a shame."
Do the Eagles get away with ducking when tackled?Vote
Do you have a story for us to investigate?
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.