Daniel Ricciardo seething following Lance Stroll incident at F1 Chinese Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo’s Chinese Grand Prix came to an early end Sunday, when his car suffered substantial floor damage as a result of an incident during a restart. As the grid wound back to the start/finish line to take the green flag, a lockup by Fernando Alonso set off a chain reaction behind him, that eventually saw fellow Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll drive into the back of Ricciardo’s RB01.

The contact lifted the back Ricciardo’s car into the air for a moment before it came crashing down to Earth. While Ricciardo tried to forge on, the damage was simply too much, and he was forced to retire the car.

Right when the incident happened, Stroll called into his team that an “idiot” in front of him had slammed on the brakes. “This idiot just slammed on the brake. Check wing damage,” was the statement from Stroll.

When shown that footage after the race, Ricciardo did not hold back. Speaking with French outlet Canal+, the driver’s heartrate spiked again:

“He’s saying my mistake? Okay I had started to calm down but now that makes me … that pisses me off,” started an incredulous Ricciardo.

“I watched his onboard, he’s not even looking at me,” continued the Australian driver. “We start to brake, and his head starts looking at the corner. And then he starts to accelerate or come off the brake, and then he’s right underneath me.

“That pisses me off.”

As you can see in the above clip, Stroll is indeed looking towards the corner as the chain reaction begins in front of him. On this clip from F1, right around the five-second mark you see Stroll turn his head to the right, as the chaos begins just meters in front of him:

Here is a still taken from that moment, showing Stroll’s helmet turned to the right:

Screenshot 2024 04 21 at 9.54.21 AM

Of course, this is just a mere snapshot in time, but you can certainly understand Ricciardo’s dual frustration in seeing this, and hearing Stroll’s comments.

And you can also understand Ricciardo’s frustration at these comments, given the fact that Stroll was penalized for causing the collision. Race officials determined that Stroll “ought to have anticipated the pace of the cars in front, particularly Car 3 and should have prepared to brake accordingly.”

Had Stroll done so, the collision would have been avoided. “Hence Car 18 was predominantly to blame for the collision that ultimately led to Car 3 having to retire from the race.”

Making matters worse for the Australian driver is the fact that he was also hit with a three-place grid penalty, for overtaking Nico Hülkenberg under safety car conditions. Since that penalty could not be served in this race due to his retirement, Ricciardo will bring that penalty to South Beach for the Miami Grand Prix in two weeks.

“We started to make up a lot of ground in the stint before the Safety Car but during the restart, I got a pretty big hit and the car was damaged. We decided to retire because I wasn’t really driving an F1 car. It’s very frustrating,” added Ricciardo in the team’s post-race report. “I watched his onboard and it looked like he wasn’t even looking at me, it seemed that his helmet was looking at the apex. We’ll never know what could have happened later in the race, but I think we were looking in a good place.

“Getting ruined by someone else makes me frustrated and this is where the disappointment comes, because today we had an opportunity and we missed it.”

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