‘Not reckless’: FIA defends Daniel Ricciardo over Kevin Magnussen crash

Daniel Ricciardo will take a three-place grid penalty at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, in what could be his last race in Formula 1.

Daniel Ricciardo’s last race in Formula 1 before his sabbatical has become harder before it’s even started, after being awarded a penalty following the Brazilian Grand Prix, which will carry over into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The 33-year-old was involved in an unfortunate collision with Kevin Magnussen at Turn Eight on the opening lap at Interlagos, where he lightly clipped the rear of the Danish driver.

The gentle contact was enough to spin Magnussen, who then rolled backwards and collected Ricciardo, who went into the barrier as a result.

It brought an abrupt end to the race for Ricciardo and Friday’s pole sitter, who were both forced to retire from the race.

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Given that they both retired, Ricciardo was awarded a penalty by the FIA which will be implemented at the season finale at the Yas Marina Circuit this weekend.

Ricciardo was given a three-place grid penalty for Sunday at Abu Dhabi, marking a poor start to what might be his last weekend in the sport, should he fail to find a seat in 2024.

The FIA released the following statement as to why the penalty was awarded, in what was incredibly light contact.

“Ricciardo made contact with Magnussen at turn 8 on lap 1, which caused Magnussen to spin, and subsequently both cars crashed,” the statement read.

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“McLaren explained that in their view Magnussen was slower at the exit of turn eight than the other cars ahead, which made it difficult to judge the closing rate, as the two cars interacted.

“Ricciardo explained that in his view, he had slowed sufficiently that he was not going to collide with Magnussen and that he slightly misjudged it.

“The stewards acknowledged that the incident was not reckless. However, they determined that the incident was between two cars and was not influenced by multiple other cars and is therefore not a ‘first lap incident’.

“Magnussen drove in a normal manner for that corner, and he did not make any erratic moves. Thus the Stewards determine that Ricciardo was wholly to blame for the incident and issue a drop of three grid places for the next event.”

Ricciardo was “disappointed” for his race to have concluded so early, as were McLaren, given that Lando Norris also retired from the race late on, marking the team’s first double DNF since the 2019 Belgian GP.

“I’m disappointed as it’s always difficult when your race is over so quickly,” Ricciardo said after the race.

“I touched the back of Kevin and it’s a shame.

“I think the biggest disappointment is that it was such a small touch, but it had massive consequences. I didn’t expect him to spin. I guess that was just the angle that we touched and it just unloaded his rear.

“Most times you can get away with a small touch like that, so it was pretty unfortunate for both of us.

“Apologies to the team here and back at home but we will reset and go one more time in Abu Dhabi.”

Magnussen was equally frustrated by the early retirement, especially given how strong he’d been across the weekend.

The Dane is aware that Ricciardo “didn’t do it on purpose” but was still gutted to have missed out on a potential points finish.

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“It is what it is,” responded Magnussen.

“Daniel didn’t do it on purpose, which isn’t any help to us, but we move on.

“We’re not always up where we have been this weekend so it’s a shame that we weren’t able to capitalise on that fully today as we had great pace.”