Ricciardo handed two post-race time penalties, loses French GP points
His all-action approach made him one of the stars of the French Grand Prix, but Daniel Ricciardo will leave the French Riviera without a single point after the stewards at Circuit Paul Ricard handed him two post-race time penalties, dropping him from P7 to P11.
The Renault driver had an eventful race, recovering the two places he lost at the start to run eighth as the Grand Prix reached its conclusion.
But with McLaren’s Lando Norris slowed by a hydraulics problem ahead, Ricciardo smelt the chance of more points and reeled him in. Though Norris defended P7 valiantly, Ricciardo got a run on the approach the Mistral Chicane and attempted a pass around the outside.
He couldn’t get his Renault stopped in time, though, and ran off track. As he rejoined, Norris had to take avoiding action. The stewards investigated the incident after the race, and deemed he re-joined “unsafely forcing another driver off track”. As punishment, they handed him a five-second time penalty and two penalty points on his superlicence.
But that wasn’t the end of the bad news for Ricciardo. Though he had passed Norris, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen managed to get through. Ricciardo gave chase and re-passed Raikkonen, but did so having crossed the white lines denoting the edge of the track - and the stewards duly handed him another five-second penalty, saying he “left the track and gained a lasting advantage”. He also receieved a further penalty point on his licence.
With the extra 10 seconds applied to his race time, Ricciardo drops from seventh down to 11th and out of the points, with Raikkonen, Ricciardo's Renault team mate Nico Hulkenberg and Norris promoted to P7, P8 and P9 respectively. Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly, meanwhile, is promoted into the points in 10th.
It means Renault lose their double points finish in their home race, while Ricciardo fails to score his third consecutive points finish.
It’s better to have a fight and see what happens than to just sit behind and be a loser
Speaking before the decision, Ricciardo said: “When the track’s so wide you’ve got to improvise a little. It was a fun last lap. To be honest whatever happens, I don’t really care. I think it was fun and it’s better to have a fight and see what happens than to just sit behind and be a loser, so yeah, I enjoyed it.”
Ricciardo has made a name for himself with his audacious late-on-the-brakes overtaking moves, but says he has struggled to make them work since moving from Red Bull to Renault this season.
“[The car] is on the edge," he explained. "Every time I come in to brake late I’m kind of just pulling it off, but it is improving for sure and I am certainly getting more confidence with it than at the start of the year with it, so it’s coming.”