Daniel Ricciardo ‘not that much of an a**ehole’ as Lance Stroll China GP response revealed

Thomas Maher

Daniel Ricciardo has revealed he hasn’t received any sort of apology from Lance Stroll over their Chinese GP clash.

Ricciardo’s promising Chinese Grand Prix came to an end prematurely when the Aston Martin driver crashed into the back of his car while the field prepared to go racing again following a Safety Car intervention.

Daniel Ricciardo: I can accept an apology if I get one

With Stroll initially branding Ricciardo as an “idiot” for the clash, it led the Australian driver to rage in the media pen as he responded “F**k that guy” and said Stroll needed to take responsibility for the error.

Calmer after 10 days have passed since the race-ending incident in Shanghai, Ricciardo told media in Miami that he was feeling in a better mood coming into the Sprint weekend.

“I’m in a better mood because we’re back at a racetrack again,” he said.

“Obviously, I was super frustrated – any DNF is frustrating – but that one, of course, was even more frustrating.

“When you don’t see a chequered flag, you just want to race again, like you just want to get back in the car. For that, I’m actually really happy it’s a Sprint weekend because it’s two races. I’m excited to be here!”

As for whether he and Stroll have spoken to each other since their clash, in which the Aston Martin rammed the RB at the hairpin under the Safety Car, Ricciardo smiled and simply said: “No.”

Asked whether he wanted to speak to Stroll, Ricciardo said it is an exercise in futility, but he’s open to listening to the Canadian if an apology is forthcoming.

“I would say no, because I feel it’s not gonna go anywhere,” he said.

“If he texted just saying, ‘Yeah, you know, my bad’, whatever. Okay, I can accept an apology.

“I’m not that much of an a**ehole. But the fact that there’s not even that, he clearly doesn’t think he did anything wrong. So I guess there’s not much to say.

“If we sit next to each other tomorrow at the driver’s briefing and he wants to chat, I’m not gonna ignore him or anything.”

Ricciardo tried to put himself in Stroll’s shoes, saying that he felt he maybe hadn’t always held his hands up when he was at fault for incidents when he was a younger driver.

“Look, when I was younger, maybe I was more stubborn and maybe I didn’t always apologise for something that was my fault,” he said.

“But certainly, like the last few years, if I make a mistake or take someone out, or even if it’s like 50/50, I’ll still say ‘Yeah, maybe I could have done better so sorry for ruining our day’.

“I remember I think it was maybe Kevin [Magnussen] in Brazil [2023] or Yuki [Tsunoda] in Mexico the year before when I was still at McLaren in 2022, I didn’t honestly think I was fully at fault for that one but I still kind of was like ‘Alright, I’ll just text him, clear the air a little bit.

“I just don’t think we need, from my side at least… yeah, we’re all rivals but you don’t want to have a target, I guess, and you don’t need enemies. Like not going as far as saying he’s an enemy or anything.

“It’s an incident and we’ll move on but you don’t obviously want to get what you’re given and, again, I’m not directing this at him but it’s my approach and, of course, if I’ve got on track stuff with someone then let’s run it out and see what happens.

“It doesn’t need to be anything so I’m not saying it will be but, in that position, if I didn’t see him in person I would at least say ‘Hey, man, sorry I was looking somewhere else’ or ‘You braked really hard, it caught me off guard’, whatever, just something but, yeah, it’s fine.”

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Having been passed by Nico Hulkenberg as Stroll and Ricciardo sorted themselves out following their clash, Ricciardo re-overtook the Haas driver while still under the Safety Car – earning himself a three-place grid penalty for this weekend.

Ricciardo said he felt the circumstances could have been taken into account more, leading to some “fire” in his belly coming into the Miami GP.

“I have certainly moved on but I was frustrated… actually, the three-place penalty because that one…” he said.

“I put my hand up – I was frustrated and I should know the rules better but they saw it pretty black and white. Nico did nothing wrong. For me, they were a little bit one-sided in that one. So yeah, I paid the price for that.

“So a little bit of fire to bring to the track this weekend.”

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