Ricciardo loses French GP points after post-race penalties

by James Eagles
Daniel Ricciardo - Formula 1 - 2019 French GP

Daniel Ricciardo has lost his seventh place in the French Grand Prix classification after being awarded two five second penalties by the Formula 1 stewards.

Ricciardo was involved in a heated last lap battle for seventh along with his Renault F1 Team team-mate Nico Hülkenberg, Alfa Romeo Racing‘s Kimi Räikkönen and ailing McLaren F1 Team rookie Lando Norris at Circuit Paul Ricard.

On the last lap of the 53-lap race Ricciardo tried to pass Norris on the outside of Turn 8 for seventh, but put all four wheels over the white line while doing so and his reentry onto the track forced the McLaren driver to take evasive action on the runoff area coming out of Turn 9.

The Renault driver’s sub-optimal exit from the chicane allowed Räikkönen to pull ahead of Ricciardo, but the Australian tried to regain his position on the run to the full-throttle corner of Turn 10 – or Signes.

But Ricciardo left the track once again to draw alongside the Alfa Romeo before passing on the inside of Turn 10.

The stewards deemed both instances as separate and handed Ricciardo two five-second time penalties, one for rejoining the track in an unsafe manner and the other for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.

Regarding the incident with Norris, the stewards’ verdict read: “Ricciardo started to pass Norris on the outside at Turn 8. At the exit of the corner he distinctly left the track and the Stewards determined that he re-joined at an angle that forced Norris off the track to avoid the collision.

“The Stewards accepted Ricciardo’s explanation that when he was re-joining the track, he had slowed considerably, going down extra gears and locking up the front left tyre. He also stated that the rumble strips in the turn made the
car more difficult to control.

“However, the Stewards considered that the sequence of events constituted re-joining the track unsafely, and he subsequently took the position from Norris.”

As for his battle with Räikkönen on the second part of the Mistral straight, the stewards said that the Finn never endangered Ricciardo or made a forceful move to block the Renault’s progress.

Ricciardo was then adjudged to have gained “a lasting advantage”, and the incident was looked at separately due to him having full control of his car.

The statement said: “Following the incident at Turn 8 with Norris, Räikkönen managed to pass both Norris
and Ricciardo. Ricciardo, who by then had regained control of his car then chased
Räikkönen from Turn 9 and subsequently passed Räikkönen.

“Raikkonen defended his position on the straight moving slightly to the right. However, Raikkonen never put any part of his car off the track and he did not make any move to the right while any part of Ricciardo’s car was alongside, and did not crowd Ricciardo off the track.

To make the pass Ricciardo drove off track and then subsequently completed the pass, gaining a lasting advantage.”

The revised classification sees Ricciardo fall from seventh place to eleventh, promoting Red Bull Racing‘s Pierre Gasly into the points at his home grand prix.

Räikkönen, Hülkenberg and Norris, who was nursing a hydraulics issue in the last 10 laps, move up to seventh, eighth and ninth respectively.

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