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'F**k that guy' - Ricciardo furious with Stroll’s crash reaction

by Scott Mitchell-Malm, Edd Straw
4 min read

An incensed Daniel Ricciardo has slammed Lance Stroll’s reaction to their bizarre incident in Formula 1’s Chinese Grand Prix, when Stroll rear-ended Ricciardo during a safety car restart.

A lock-up from Fernando Alonso into the hairpin as the field prepared to resume racing sent the Aston Martin deep into the corner, which caused the cars behind to slow down to avoid illegally overtaking.

George Russell, Oscar Piastri and Ricciardo all managed to slow enough to avoid contact but Stroll then piled into the back of the RB, lifting its rear into the air in the process.

He seemed to be looking to the apex of the corner preparing for the restart – as onboard footage shows his helmet moving to the right just before the incident – and appeared not to notice the cars slowing to a near halt.

“This idiot just slammed on the brake,” the official F1 broadcast recorded Stroll as saying on the radio, although it is not completely clear Stroll didn't say "these idiots".

Ricciardo was made aware of the remark as the TV broadcast relayed it and, speaking to media post-race, was visibly angry and said it “made my blood boil”.

“I’d slowly started to calm down and then I was told what Lance thinks of the incident,” Ricciardo said.

“And apparently I'm an idiot. And it was my fault.

“So, that made my blood boil. Because it's clear as day - and it's also behind a safety car.

“The only thing you've got to do is watch the car in front, we can't predict what the leader is going to do. We can't assume that we're going to go in Turn 14. The race doesn't start until the control line.

Daniel Ricciardo, RB, F1

“I'm doing my best not to say what I want to say. But f**k that guy – and I'm being nice still.

“But if that's what he thinks, I'm like… yeah.”

Ricciardo said he would not “go harder” on Stroll because “he [Stroll] might take some accountability” when he sees it back.

“But if he doesn't, I can't help him and nor can anyone here,” he added.

Ricciardo said he does not usually “read much” post-race coverage but would make sure he finds out what Stroll said.

Shortly after Ricciardo's appearance in the media mixed zone, Stroll insisted it was just “very unlucky” and he felt the penalty was unfair because it was an “odd” and “stupid” incident.

“I just got a penalty because of the end result, that I hit Ricciardo,” Stroll argued.

“But it's not like everything was normal and I just slammed into the back of him.

“There was a really odd concertina effect there.”

Told by The Race that Ricciardo was critical and thought Stroll was blaming him, Stroll said: “No, I don't think it's him. Everyone just slammed on the brakes, and he was the guy in front of me.

“I don't think he slammed on the brakes [more than others], it was, like I said, the concertina effect.”

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, F1

Stroll is right that he would not have hit Ricciardo had the cars ahead not backed up but he has essentially been punished for lacking the attention required to react the way others did.

And Ricciardo said that having seen Stroll’s onboard, the movement of his head to the right also “makes my blood boil” because “all you have to do is worry about me in that situation and he clearly wasn't”.

He also suggested that the extent of the hit from Stroll showed it was more than just a normal misjudgment in those kinds of circumstances.

“It's not like he just tapped me and gave me a puncture or something, he went underneath my car,” said Ricciardo.

“He hit me so fast, it's not an unlucky thing where he's just tapped me.”

The stewards’ verdict makes it clear that they felt Stroll should have been more alert, “ought to have anticipated the pace of the cars in front” and “should have prepared to brake accordingly”.

F1 drivers

“Had it [car 18] done that, it would have avoided the collision,” their report added.

Stroll received a 10-second penalty but was well out of the points anyway so faced no meaningful consequence.

Ricciardo, though, said that Stroll taking responsibility was more important than trying to punish him further.

“The biggest thing is if they’re like ‘oh, we’ll give him a five-place penalty the next race', but he still is then blaming me, that’s a bigger problem,” said Ricciardo.

“I want him to understand once the dust settles, if he's still hot-headed today, he needs to learn from this.

“We've all made mistakes. I've done it, we all have.

“As long as he understands that he was the one that's ruined not only his race but mine, that's the biggest thing we can take away.”

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