Daniel Ricciardo’s relief after dramatic action to avoid ‘frisbee’ wheel

Michelle Foster
Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo speaking with AlphaTauri on the grid.

Daniel Ricciardo was relieved to escape injury when a tyre hurtled toward his car in Brazil.

Ducking his head as a loose tyre came hurtling toward him at the Brazilian GP, Daniel Ricciardo initially felt “relief” at not being injured but then “disappointment” as he saw the damage to his AT04.

Lining up near the back of the grid after a disappointing qualifying session, there wasn’t much Ricciardo could do to avoid the flying tyre from Alex Albon’s crashed Williams.

The Thai-British racer was the victim of a three-in-one situation at Turn 1 where Kevin Magnussen moved to the right only to collide with his teammate who in turn took Albon out of the race.

‘Looking back, it is nice it did not hit me’

As he went sliding off the track into the run-off area on the right, one of his tyres broke loose and went bouncing backwards, almost clearing Ricciardo’s AlphaTauri only to take out the rear wing.

“Debris hit my rear wing, it’s broken. I tried to miss it, I think it was a tyre in the air that got my rear wing,” was the sombre message from the Aussie.

He was lucky it wasn’t anything more serious as he revealed he ducked his head fearing the “frisbee” tyre could hit his cockpit.

“I saw a big crash in front of me and lots of debris,” he said.

“I felt I was getting through it and then saw a tyre off the rim coming at me like a frisbee through the air and it started getting closer.

“I remember ducking my head. I didn’t feel anything hit me, so I was happy, but I checked my mirrors and saw my rear wing was pretty much off, so I assumed the tyre hit the wing, and that was frustrating.

“But looking back, it is nice it did not hit me.”

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Returning to the pits he pulled into the AlphaTauri garage to retire the car but with the race red-flagged the team made the necessary repairs and he was back out, albeit a lap down due to F1 regulations.

“My immediate relief was turned into disappointment because I realised the race could be over,” he said. “When you are in race mode you don’t think about it, but in hindsight, I am thankful we all got out of it safe.

“The team did a great job fixing the car so we were ready to go and then I was told I would start a lap behind. All the excitement to race again gets zapped out of you.

“Common sense should be used and we should not have been a lap down because there was not one lap of green-flag racing. It is frustrating that they ruined our day from the beginning.”

The Red Bull hopeful finished the race in 13th place while his teammate Yuki Tsunoda was ninth.

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