Daniel Ricciardo says he was left feeling “cautious” of how the Renault team members would treat him after his slow-speed crash in Azerbaijan two weeks ago.

Ricciardo was forced to retire from the race at the Baku City Circuit after reversing his car into Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso at slow speed, both having gone deep into a run-off area after locking up.

The collision left both cars with damage that meant they could not complete the race when both had been in contention for a points finish.

“I didn’t want to watch it, but by Monday night I watched a replay of it,” Ricciardo said.

“When you are in that position, when anyone makes a mistake, you always feel like it is going to look worse than it felt. Of course it sucked watching it, but I actually felt a bit better when I saw my onboard.

“I did look in my mirror, I just looked in my right mirror when Dany was on my left side. When I retired and went straight to media, I thought I’d panicked and started reversing straight away and I didn’t even look.”

Ricciardo said he was able to move on from the crash “pretty quickly”, but admitted he was fearful of what Renault’s response would be when he return to the factory.

“By Monday I was already getting shit from my friends. Then I watched the replay, and on Tuesday I was all good,” Ricciardo said.

“I was in Viry on the Monday. Even just seeing the people there, I was a bit cautious how everyone was going to treat me on Monday. It felt like they’d already forgiven me and that felt good.

“I was in Enstone on Tuesday, so kind of facing everyone straight away was a good cure.”

The setback was the latest amid a difficult start to Ricciardo’s season that has seen him fail to finish three of the opening four races.

Ricciardo felt downbeat in the aftermath of the incident, particularly when points looked within reach after a difficult weekend for Renault.

“I was upset because in the race it felt like we’d turned around to end what was already a difficult weekend. I felt we were going to end it on a positive note,” Ricciardo said.

“I felt more for the morale of the team. We could have been patting each other on the back but instead everyone had their head down. I felt responsible for the feeling that we all left the race with. That was what I didn’t want.

“Of course I feel a responsibility to bring this team up in one-way shape or another. And I had an opportunity to do that and I did not.

“I felt down about that.”

 

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