Daniel Ricciardo fully accepted his time penalty at the Russian Grand Prix and said that lit a fire under his bum.
Renault attempted the old switcheroo during the Russian Grand Prix to give Ricciardo a shot at Sebastian Vettel, but while Esteban Ocon did his part by lifting well off the throttle to let his team-mate through at Turn 1, Ricciardo locked up, went over the kerbs and rejoined the track.
Sadly the FIA have been clear in the message that a driver must follow the bollards and return safely at Turn 2 after that kind of error, and when Ricciardo failed to do so a five-second time penalty was a punishment he could have little to argue about.
And the Aussie certainly didn’t argue, instead accepting full responsibility and getting on with his race, going on to finish P5 as Riccardo continued his fine run of form.
“I would say the outcome was a good one, but there were certainly some speed bumps along the way, literally!,” he is quoted by Motorsport.com.
“So I earned myself a five second penalty by going wide at Turn Two, and then I had to make up that time. But we did in the end. I think we were the fifth best today, and we got it. I made a little extra work for myself, but it was okay.
“The start was great again, off the line the car’s been a rocket, the last few starts. So lots of positives. Some imperfections at times from me, but I think I cleaned myself up OK.”
Ricciardo admitted that rather than letting his head drop he used the penalty as motivation, in his words, it “lit a bit of a fire under my bum”.
“I took full responsibility for it,” he said. “I just locked up and went wide, and I was like, ‘I’m probably going to get a penalty here’,” he said.
“So when Karel told me I think I’d already accepted it in my head. And I was like the only way to eliminate the penalty is to go faster, and build a gap to Leclerc behind me.
“So it was actually quite good in hindsight, it lit a bit of a fire under my bum, and I just got on with it. I think that was cool. I was, I guess, proud to not let it get to me. And I think we made a really good race of it after that.”
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Ocon was also not in the mood to dwell after he was told to move aside for Ricciardo in the battle against Vettel.
“It was a very good start to the race,” he told reporters at the Sochi Autodrom after finishing P7.
“I mean the start I got was very nice, I got up to fourth just behind Max [Verstappen]. The first stint was strong, I was almost having the pace of Max ahead, which was very promising but when we pitted to the hards [tyres], I don’t know.
“We lost grip, we lost balance in the car and everything seemed to be a bit more difficult. Couldn’t pass Seb, [we] let past Daniel – he had better pace – and then [the second stint] was not as strong as the first stint.
“Potentially a bit more points on the table for us, something we need to review, but overall [the race was] very good for the team and we are catching up in the Constructors’ championship.”
Renault head into the Eifel Grand Prix P5 in the Constructors’ standings, 23 points adrift of McLaren in P3.