13 October 2013
Ricciardo left seething by drive-thru
Toro Rosso driver Daniel Ricciardo was furious after a mid-race drive-thru penalty saw him finish the Japanese GP down in 13th place, a lap off the leaders.
Daniel Ricciardo was not happy with the state of things at the end of the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, and he didn't mind who knew it. He vented his fury in no uncertain term over the team radio at the end of the race at Suzuka, although by the time he reached the paddock and spoke with reporters in the media enclosure he was somewhat back to his usual easy-going self.
Ricciardo had gambled on starting on the harder prime tyres which put him off-strategy from the start, and saw him have to make up positions on the track over others on different strategies. One such move saw him pass Force India's Adrian Sutil at 130R, all four wheels of the Toro Rosso going off track in the process - which the stewards deemed an improper advantage on Ricciado's part.
"I was moving up the order again after my first stop and then I made a move on the outside of Sutil at the 130R and got past him," said Ricciardo. "But after that, I ran wide onto the grass, which lost me a bit of time.
"Sadly, the stewards decided I had gained an advantage by going off the track and had to take a drive-through penalty, which of course ruined my race," he added. "I was ninth when I came in for the penalty and it dropped me down outside the points."
Ricciardo had started from 16th after being unable to get a decent flying lap in during Q2 on Saturday, and had been relying on the alternate tyre strategy to move him forward - which it did, the Australian moving up as high as fourth place by lap 14 as other drivers on the options elected to to stop early.
"We started on the hard tyre and after I made a good start to move up two places, it was looking good as I passed [Williams' Valtteri] Bottas on the track and moved up the order as those on the medium pitted ahead of me," he recalled.
But his first pit stop dropped him all the way back down to 16th again, albeit on fresher tyres then everyone else around him. That meant he had to work hard to make progress while the overlap advantage was still available to him, and is when he made that ill-fated pass on Sutil that resulted in the drive-thru penalty, whose impact could not be overcome in the remaining half of the race.
"I am disappointed not to have scored some points today," Ricciardo admitted. "I am convinced I was heading for the top ten, which would have been an encouraging result, after struggling with the balance of the car on Saturday."
Ricciardo's team mate Jean-Eric Vergne saw the back of his car go up in flames in qualifying on Saturday which resulted in his starting one place behind Ricciardo in the race. He bumped along in 17th place for the first half of the race, but ended up finishing just ahead of Ricciardo at the chequered flag having progressed as high as ninth place at one stage, before his final visit to the pit lane on a three-stop strategy.
"Our pit stops were not the best and cost us some time," Vergne said. "After the start I found myself in traffic, so the team decided to call me in a bit early for the switch from the Option to the Prime, but the pit stop was slow and just put me back in the traffic.
"It was hard to overtake, so we tried lengthening the next two stints and the remaining pit stops were not the best. Apart from that, my pace seemed reasonable, so it's a shame, as I think I could have done better, especially as I had a lot of new tyres for the race.
"I really hope I have a bit more luck and another good car in India," he added.
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
the conversation - Add your comment
Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.