Ricciardo expected Stroll to be penalised

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Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo expected Lance Stroll to be handed a penalty for forcing him off track in the pair’s battle late on.

The Renault driver enjoyed an excellent first stint on the medium tyre to position himself as the best of the race and close up to the Red Bull of Alex Albon.

However, he struggled considerably more for pace in his second stint and, having already been passed by Sergio Perez, his mirror was quickly full of the pink of Lance Stroll’s Racing Point.

He managed to hold the Canadian off for a number of laps before, with two left, Stroll tried a move to take P5 from him.

It forced them both off the track and allowed Lando Norris to capitalise and pass them both. The incident was investigated but no further action was taken

“Firstly he [Stroll] didn’t really get past, he forced both of us off the track,” Ricciardo said after the race before the stewards had announced Stroll wouldn’t be penalised.

“I’ll always be critical of myself and I should have closed the door but I don’t think he was ever making the move so I think it was desperate.

“I think Lando was coming and I think he had to do something otherwise Lando was going to eat him up. I take the apex and we crash, so that is a frustrating end and we lost a position to Lando.

“I think we will get the one back on Stroll, but it still doesn’t… it is a bit of a shame to end the race like that.”

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Earlier in the race, Ricciardo had looked in good shape to overcome his midfield rivals and even challenge Albon for P4. However, various factors quickly changed this.

“The first part was okay. On the medium we were quite strong,” he added.

“With the soft after the pit-stop – we had a few other issues – and then the soft wasn’t really working as well as we would’ve liked.

“I thought we were doing well to hold off Lance, but then yeah obviously with two laps to go it fell apart a little bit.”

Immediately after the battle, Ricciardo was extremely confident that he’d end up being bumped up a place due to a penalty for Stroll.

He said: “If he pushes me off and he stays on the track then fair enough, I definitely should have blocked, but if he takes both us off then it’s not a move. I’m turning out of the apex to avoid a crash.

“As I said, I should have hugged the white line and blocked from earlier, but it was a move he was never making so…

“At least we’ll get that place back but, as I said, we lost the place to Lando so it’s a little bit bittersweet.”

We can’t imagine the Honey Badger was too happy when he got word of the final decision…

Because of it, he stays P8 and heads to Hungary with two points to his name.

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