Ricciardo Says Stroll “Made My Blood Boil” After Incident In Chinese GP

Daniel Ricciardo Carrying A Chip On His Shoulder
Daniel Ricciardo Carrying A Chip On His Shoulder

On Lap 27 of the Chinese Grand Prix, just as the field got ready for restart after a Safety Car caused by Valtteri Bottas suffering sudden mechanical failure, a quite chaotic incident happened. It was a chain reaction — Fernando Alonso had locked up on the approach to the hairpin, which led to George Russell braking to avoid him. Oscar Piastri then braked to avoid Russell, and Daniel Ricciardo braked to avoid Piastri.

Next up was Lance Stroll, but he did not hit the brakes in time and crashed heavily into the back of Ricciardo’s car, lifting it up into the air. The damage suffered by this didn’t give Ricciardo any other option but to retire from the race. Given the fact many believed this could be the Aussie’s redemption weekend and after a not-so-great start to the season, he could finally show what’s in him and that he deserves to keep his seat in RB, this is certainly a disappointing end to the Chinese Grand Prix for him.

Another unfortunate thing for Ricciardo is the three-place grid penalty he’ll serve in Miami. It was for a separate incident and after being called to see the stewards post-race, he was ultimately found guilty for overtaking Nico Hülkenberg while running behind the Safety Car. That’s of course, a breach of regulations and aside from the penalty in Miami’s Sprint, he also got two penalty points for his Super License.

Regarding the contact with Stroll, it was the Canadian driver from Aston Martin who picked up a 10-second penalty during the race. Ricciardo was said to have done everything he could to prevent any crash, but in a situation like that, there actually wasn’t much to do.

Though, Stroll thought the same about his own approach, and felt like the penalty was “a joke”.

“I got a penalty because of the end result that I hit Ricciardo, but it’s not like everything was normal and I just slammed into the back of him.”

“There was a really odd concertina effect that I would have liked to see the stewards take into consideration maybe a little bit more.”

“Someone braked at the front of the pack and then everyone stops. The car in front of me just stopped from like 60 to zero. It was one of those stupid incidents,” Stroll explained to Motorsport.com why he complained over the radio.

To this, Oscar Piastri, who was one of the drivers also involved in the concertina effect, remarked: “Yeah, but everyone else didn’t crash into each other.”

However, the one who had the most to say about the incident and Stroll’s view on it, was of course the Australian who had to DNF because of it.

“Maybe in an hour, when he sees it, he might take some accountability. But if he doesn’t, I can’t help him, nor can anyone here,” said Ricciardo in an interview after his retirement.

“It’s so frustrating. Obviously, racing incidents happen, but behind a safety car, that should never happen.”

“What made my blood boil is I watched his onboard, to just see it from his perspective. And as soon as we start braking, you can see his helmet turn right and he’s looking at the apex of Turn 14, he’s not even watching me. And then when he looks back, he’s in the back of me.”

“I don’t know what he’s doing, where his head is, but all he has to do is worry about me in that situation, and he clearly wasn’t. Let’s see what he says in the media, but if he comes after me, then I’ll say more…” continued the RB driver, before Stroll got the chance to make his own statement to the media.

After he was shown Stroll’s radio comments, — that were made in the heat of the moment, — suggesting he indeed was blaming him for the incident, Ricciardo was even more enraged.

“I’d slowly started to calm down, and then I was told what Lance thinks of the incident. Apparently, I’m an idiot, and it was my fault. That made my blood boil, because it’s clear as day and it’s also behind a safety car.”

“The only thing you’ve got to do is watch the car in front. We can’t predict what the leader’s gonna do. The race doesn’t start until the control line.”

“I’m doing my best not to say what I want to say, but f*ck that guy. And I’m being nice, too! But if that’s what he thinks…”

Afterward, Stroll clarified that the “idiot” was not aimed at Ricciardo specifically. And as we know, during races, drivers’ emotions can be very much heightened.

“I don’t think it was him,” Stroll said. “Everyone just slammed on the brakes and he was the guy in front of me. So I don’t think he slammed on the brakes, It was a concertina effect.”

The stewards’ verdict read: “We determined that Car 18 [Stroll] ought to have anticipated the pace of the cars in front, particularly Car 3 [Ricciardo] and should have prepared to brake accordingly.”

“Had it done that, it would have avoided the collision. Hence, Car 18 [Stroll] was predominantly to blame for the collision that ultimately led to Car 3 [Ricciardo] having to retire from the race.”

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