until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Ricciardo gets grid penalty for his final McLaren race

by Jack Benyon
2 min read

Daniel Ricciardo has received a three-place grid penalty for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which will be his last Formula 1 race at McLaren.

Ricciardo clipped Kevin Magnussen’s Haas into a spin at Turn 8 on the opening lap of the Brazilian GP, optimistically poking his front wing down the inside and clipping Magnussen’s rear-right wheel.

The spinning Haas then collected Ricciardo’s McLaren.

Both drivers retired from the incident in what was a key race for their teams McLaren and Haas, which are respectively fighting Alpine and AlphaTauri in the constructors’ championship.

“The stewards reviewed the video from several angles and reviewed GPS data presented by the McLaren team and telemetry from their own sources,” read the stewards’ decision.

“Ricciardo made contact with Magnussen at Turn 8 on lap one, which caused Magnussen to spin, and subsequently both cars crashed.

“McLaren explained that in their view Magnussen was slower at the exit of Turn 8 than the other cars ahead, which made it difficult to judge the closing rate, as the two cars interacted.

“Ricciardo explained that in his view, he had slowed sufficiently that he was not going to collide with Magnussen and that he slightly misjudged it.

“The stewards acknowledged that the incident was not reckless. However, they determined that the incident was between two cars and was not influenced by multiple other cars and is therefore not a ‘first lap incident’.

“The stewards determined that Magnussen drove in a normal manner for that corner, and that he did not make any erratic moves.

“Thus the stewards determine that Ricciardo was wholly to blame for the incident and issue a drop of three grid places for the next event.”

Ricciardo is being replaced by Oscar Piastri at McLaren next year, and with nothing confirmed for his future – a race drive looks unlikely, and he is probably heading for an F1 reserve role – he is pinning his hopes on securing a frontrunning drive for a 2024 comeback.

If not, Abu Dhabi next weekend is likely to be the end of his F1 career.

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