Ricciardo explains why he feels ‘slightly better’ about Lap 1 Bottas collision after watching replays
It wasn’t the ideal day for McLaren in Mexico with Daniel Ricciardo losing a chance at points after contact with Valtteri Bottas in Turn 1 – while Lando Norris had to start 18th and scored a solitary point for the team, who were overtaken by Ferrari in the standings..
Ricciardo’s race began with a solid jump from P7 off the line and he went into Turn 1 alongside Red Bull’s Sergio Perez who started fourth, but an unfortunate collision with Bottas - which sent the Finn spinning down to last - meant Ricciardo had to come in for a new front wing. After the race, in which he finished out of the points in 12th, with Bottas in 15th, the Australian gave his thoughts on the incident.
“Yes, I’ve just seen a replay now for the first time and… I had a good launch and slipstream, and we were looking pretty good. I was alongside Perez I think into [Turn] 1 and I locked[-up] initially and then I collected it. I still feel bad because the race was done, but let’s say I feel... slightly better now after seeing that [replay].
“It actually looked like I locked before kind of the entry point and then I gathered it up again and... obviously Valtteri’s come in to close the apex. Then it’s me and Perez and there’s basically not enough room for all of us. So it was actually a lot smaller hit than I thought,” he continued.
“Frustrating. Frustrating to have this. It’s the nature of the beast obviously with the sport and lap 1 incidents can happen. Obviously the cars are pretty fragile as well; you just hit at the wrong angle and a lot of things kind of go breaking, so yes, sorry [to Bottas]. That’s the disappointing part and the sad part of the sport sometimes.”
As for Ricciardo's team mate Norris, who started 18th with an engine penalty, the Briton made it up to P7 having pitted on Lap 45 and finished 10th to collect the final point on offer. He was happy with the recovery, calling it the “best we could do”.
“Yes, I’m happy,” said Norris. “P10 doesn’t sound any good really, but no, I’m happy; I don’t think there’s a lot more I could have done today. It was so difficult to overtake and to get close, I think I did a good job.
“One point is more than nothing. Kind of sucks, but it’s the best we could do, so I have to be happy with that.”
But with Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz fifth and sixth in Mexico to take a total of 18 points, McLaren have now fallen to fourth in the standings behind the Scuderia. Norris warned that his team have their work cut out before next weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix: “We’ve got a lot of work to do, really, because Ferrari were in a different league from us today. So, a tough day.”