Ricciardo handed 3-place grid drop for final McLaren outing after Magnussen contact in Sao Paulo GP
Daniel Ricciardo’s final outing for McLaren at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will begin with a three-place grid drop, after the Australian was adjudged to have been “wholly” at fault for a Lap 1 coming-together with Haas driver Kevin Magnussen in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
Ricciardo was running behind Magnussen – who caused a sensation by taking a maiden pole position in Friday's qualifying at Interlagos – on Lap 1 when he tagged the rear of the Haas, sending it into a spin.
Both drivers might have gotten away with the incident had Magnussen’s VF-22 not then rolled into the path of Ricciardo, shoving his McLaren into the barriers – the pair out on the spot.
After reviewing both drivers’ sides of the story, the stewards handed Ricciardo a three-place grid drop for the Abu Dhabi season finale and two penalty points on his licence, explaining: “The stewards reviewed the video from several angles and reviewed GPS data presented by the McLaren team and telemetry from their own sources.
“Ricciardo made contact with Magnussen at Turn 8 on Lap 1, 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’s team mate Lando Norris would later cap off a tough day for McLaren, retiring from the race with an electrical issue to give the British squad a point-less day at Interlagos.