Ricciardo's home GP hopes end in misery

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo during a practice session on March 24, 2017, ahead of the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne

Daniel Ricciardo's trademark smile vanished as he endured a hellish Australian Grand Prix with a weekend-long spell of wretched luck that left his hopes in tatters in Melbourne on Sunday.

It just went from bad to worse for the amiable Red Bull driver who crashed in qualifying, copped a grid penalty, started the race from pit lane, before his car stopped on lap 29 of his 58-lap home GP.

"Sorry mate. Car is done. Let's get out of here," the shattered Ricciardo told his Red Bull Racing colleagues over the team radio.

It continues Ricciardo's run of terrible luck at his home grand prix where he was seeking to become the race's first Australian winner in 37 years.

"It's been a long week. I feel like crap but I feel for the fans," he told reporters after his retirement.

"It's just not how we would have liked the opener to go especially at home.

"As much as I feel sorry for myself I feel sorry for the fans.

"I heard them still showing a lot of support... that goes a long way. It makes me stand here feeling a lot better about myself."

He was lining up for his sixth crack at the race, after placing fourth last year, his best performance yet.

"The most frustrating thing was for all these things to happen at home," he said.

"I don't put it down to anything other than the mistake I made in qualifying. We had an issue in the warm up lap and a separate issue in the race.

"Just bad luck I guess. I can still win 19 races, that's the plan. Let's go to China (for the second race)."

Ricciardo's traumatic day began with confirmation of a five-place grid penalty after having a new gear box installed in his Red Bull car following a crash in Saturday's qualifying.

Then his car came to a stop on the warm-up lap shortly before the race and he got out of the car shaking his head.

In 2014, Ricciardo crossed the line second behind Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg in Melbourne, only to be disqualified for breaching fuel rules.