Renault DP World F1 Team were unable to capitalise on the double retirement from BWT Racing Point Formula One Team to climb higher than fifth in the Constructors’ Championship.
Daniel Ricciardo originally got a good start but the session was red flagged due to the horrific Romain Grosjean incident. Grosjean’s car was left engulfed in flames after colliding with the safety barrier. Luckily, he was able to walk away from the accident.
On the restart, Ricciardo didn’t have as good of a start and found himself falling down to tenth. He was able to climb back up to seventh and was chasing Pierre Gasly for sixth but a safety car was brought out with a few lap left due to the Sergio Pérez retirement and subsequently finished under the safety car.
Ricciardo said: “Firstly, I’m glad Romain is OK after the incident. The result today does not matter so much after that and it’s a bit of an afterthought. To see him escape and walk away was a relief and I wish him the best in his recovery. That’s the main thing from today. In terms of our race, it certainly wasn’t what we wanted but we gave it our best and we still managed to score points. We’ll focus on next week when it comes, it’s still to play for in the championship and we’ll come back stronger.”
Daniel Ricciardo disappointed with crash replays
After the race, Ricciardo was disappointed with the amount of times Formula 1 broadcasted the Grosjean crash in the hour while the session was red flagged.
Speaking to Ziggo TV, he said: “I want to express my disgust and disappointment with Formula 1. The way the incident of Grosjean was broadcast over and over, the replays over and over, it was completely disrespectful and inconsiderate for his family, for all of our families watching.
“We’re going to go race again in an hour and every time we look on the TV it’s a ball of fire and his car’s cut in half. I mean we can see that tomorrow, we don’t need to see it today. For me, it was entertainment and they’re playing with all of our emotions and I thought it was pretty disgusting. So hopefully some other drivers have spoke up. But if that’s not how we all really feel then I’d be very surprised.”
Esteban Ocon – “It’s a miracle that he’s [Grosjean] fine”
Esteban Ocon spent a lot of the race further up the grid than his team-mate, but eventually team orders made him give up his position to Ricciardo after the Australian was showing a faster race pace. He finished in ninth, bringing home a double points finish for the team but not enough to climb the Constructors’ Championship.
Looking at Grosjean’s incident, Ocon ‘struggled to believe’ Grosjean was ok after the horrible mess the car was left in.
Ocon said: “The first, and main thing, is the news of Romain [Grosjean] and I wish him a very fast recovery. It was a crazy incident. The team told me in the car that he was alright, but looking at the images, I struggled to believe it. It’s a miracle that he’s fine and I’m glad to hear he’s OK. Our race was secondary to that incident today. We have plenty to review from the race as the McLarens were a bit quicker than us. We’ll push on see what we can do next weekend on the shorter layout and try and claim some points back.”
Cyril Abiteboul – “This race is clearly disappointing”
Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul is disappointed how the race went after Ricciardo and Ocon qualified sixth and seventh respectively. He expected more from the race and can only rue the missed opportunity for Ricciardo to take sixth at the end of the race.
“After a very promising qualifying with both drivers into the top ten on Medium tyres, Daniel starting sixth and Esteban seventh, this race is clearly disappointing. We lost positions during the two starts, the first with Esteban and the second with Daniel, which hampered our race and impacted our strategy with early stops,” said Abiteboul.
“In the second stint, both cars failed to find the pace and we will have to understand why. By the end of the race, Daniel was on the pace again and would have finished sixth without the safety car intervention. The final result of this weekend is not up to our ambitions and we need to regroup very quickly for the last two races. I also wish Romain a speedy recovery after this terrible accident and I hope to see him back behind the wheel before the end of the season.”