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Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo victim to 'flaw' in F1 rules

The AlphaTauri driver was effectively a lap down from the start after being caught up in the first lap incident that triggered red flags at Interlagos.

Ricciardo Brazil
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Daniel Ricciardo has taken issue with F1's regulations after finding himself a lap down from the start at the São Paulo Grand Prix.

The Australian sustained rear wing damage after being hit by a start tyre in the aftermath of the crash between Haas duo Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg and Williams' Alex Albon.

McLaren's Oscar Piastri was also dealt with rear wing damage in the incident and, believing they would be out of the race, he and compatriot Ricciardo returned to their garages at the end of lap one under Safety Car conditions.

Before another lap could be completed, red flags were thrown so that the barrier on the outside of Turn 1 could be repaired, giving Ricciardo and Piastri a chance to complete repair work and rejoin the race.

As they had been wheeled into the garage, however, they were forced to take to the restart from the pit lane and, with the rest of the field having completed a lap behind the Safety Car before returning to the pits for the red flag, both drivers rejoined a lap down.

“I think firstly, it exposed a flaw in the rules because I didn’t feel like we ever did a racing lap and then you already start the race a lap down,” said Ricciardo.

“Oscar and I fell victim to that.

“Okay, it’s two of us, but if 15 cars had damage and had to do what we did, are they going to start a race with 15 cars a lap down? I don’t think so. So I think they need to be a bit more open-minded. So that was frustrating.”

AlphaTauri 'frustratingly fast'

The start incident took Ricciardo out of contention for points, a bitter blow given the AlphaTauri's strong pace at Interlagos across the weekend.

“I was at the back so I saw quite early the smoke and the debris and the chaos and then I just remember seeing a wheel, I guess a tyre came off the rim, kind of like Frisbee-ing through the air and started coming closer. My instinct was to duck my head," explained the eight-time F1 race winner.

“I didn’t feel anything hit me so I was like ‘alright, cool’. And then after turn one I checked the mirrors and I could see the rear wing was damaged. So I figured the tyre got the wing.

“We were, I want to say, exceptionally fast today. We couldn’t always show it because we were a lap down and having to play the team game of course, not get in the way of obviously Yuki’s race or even other cars around us.

“But the times that we did have some clear air, especially towards the end there was a couple of laps where I was able to show my speed and… frustratingly fast. So I feel for the team.

“Me, my championship, I’m not in the championship hunt but I’m here to help the team get seventh in the championship and I felt I could have heavily contributed today so it’s just a shame the rules written the way they are at the moment and there doesn’t seem to be any flexibility.”

F1 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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