‘Robbed of all chances’ – Helmut Marko latest to hit out at ‘unbelievable’ Lance Stroll

Michelle Foster
Lance Stroll crashes into Daniel Ricciardo. F1 news.

Fallout from Lance Stroll's crash into Daniel Ricciardo continues

Helmut Marko says it was “unbelievable” that Lance Stroll dared to call Daniel Ricciardo an idiot when he was the one who “robbed” the Aussie of a points finish in China.

Stroll earned the ire of the RB team when he rear-ended Ricciardo as the drivers prepared for a Safety Car restart at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo was ‘robbed’ by Lance Stroll

Fighting for the minor points on the day, the Aussie was forced to retire his VCARB01 due to crash damage, with Stroll slapped with a 10-second penalty for causing a collision.

But despite being the stewards ruling that he was to blame, Stroll called Ricciardo an “idiot” for braking suddenly.

The Honey Badger though had no choice given those ahead of him had checked up, a situation seemingly caused by Stroll’s Aston Martin team-mate Fernando Alonso locking up.

But as Oscar Piastri, who was also caught out in the melee, put it, “everyone else didn’t” cause a pile-up except Stroll.

Marko weighed in on the incident, adamant Ricciardo was “robbed” of what was shaping up to be a much better weekend for the under-fire RB driver.

“Daniel Ricciardo was hit by Lance Stroll in China and unfortunately was robbed of all chances,” Marko wrote in his Speedweek column.

“Daniel Ricciardo had a new chassis available in China and the whole thing was planned from the start because it is our third chassis that we wanted to bring to the track.

“But of course, this change also played into psychology after Daniel’s disappointing performances on the previous weekends.

“Things went much better for Ricciardo in China. I find it unbelievable that Lance Stroll called him an idiot after the chequered flag fell.

“And that he also had to receive a penalty for Miami. This really wasn’t his weekend.”

Ricciardo was given a three-place penalty for Miami for overtaking behind the Safety Car.

PlanetF1.com recommends

F1 2024: Head-to-head qualifying record between team-mates

F1 2024: Head-to-head race statistics between team-mates

Helmut Marko defends Yuki Tsunoda’s difficult weekend

As for Yuki Tsunoda, China marked his most difficult weekend of the season as he was out-qualified by Ricciardo for both the Sprint and the Grand Prix.

But despite also losing to his team-mate in the Sprint, Marko pointed to Oscar Piastri’s deficit to Lando Norris as a sign that it wasn’t an easy weekend for the Shanghai debutants.

“Yuki Tsunoda showed in Shanghai,” he began, “if we look at another Shanghai rookie, Oscar Piastri, we see that the Australian was half a second to a full second slower than Lando Norris in the race.

“So Shanghai is certainly a track where experience counts, especially since the newcomers received even less driving time in the Sprint format.

“The Racing Bulls may have made the mistake of letting Tsunoda run on hard tyres in the only free practice session, when the track offered next to no grip and Yuki just slid around on those rollers.

“In the race, Tsunoda’s lap times were at Ricciardo’s level. He would have had a chance to score points, but [Kevin] Magnussen dashed that hope.”

Read next: Theo Pourchaire’s IndyCar tale shines a spotlight on Formula 1’s greatest shame