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‘Wasn’t like it was a love tap’ – Frustrated Ricciardo gives verdict after race 'ruined' by crash with Stroll in China

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RB suffered a disappointing double DNF in China, through arguably no fault of their own as both their drivers were hit by other cars at the same restart, leaving Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda visibly frustrated.

Ricciardo was having his best race of the season so far, running on the cusp of the points and looking competitive at the front of the midfield. But his race was effectively ended by a collision with Lance Stroll at the first Safety Car restart, with his team mate also forced into retirement by separate contact with Kevin Magnussen.

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the action from the Chinese Grand Prix as Verstappen takes victory while Safety Car sparks dramatic restart

Ricciardo was running in ninth when the pack started to concertina up as the Safety Car pulled into the pits, with Stroll seemingly caught unawares and barreling into the back of the RB, hitting Ricciardo hard enough to send his car up into the air.

While the Aussie did continue under Safety Car conditions for a few laps, the second racing resumed he pulled into the pits to retire with the damage sustained too great to continue, before cutting a visibly annoying figure when he gave his view of the incident.

SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 19: Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB  during Sprint Qualifying ahead of

Ricciardo hasn't seen the chequered flag since Australia now

“It’s pretty simple, I got hit pretty big so yeah, restarts – you have to look at the car in front and see what’s happening,” Ricciardo said. “It’s frustrating because it wasn’t like it was a little love tap, [he] went right under the car.

“We obviously had a lot of damage, so we had to retire the car because we were not really driving an F1 car at the end with the damage we had, so really frustrating obviously. After the start, the second stint we started to make up a lot of ground and obviously we’ll never know what could have happened, but we were looking like being in a good place. So, obviously, when your race gets ruined by someone else it’s frustrating.”

READ MORE: Norris thrilled with ‘surprise’ Chinese GP podium as he reveals pre-race Ferrari bet

Ricciardo could at least see one positive – that his pace and understanding of the car has been better across the weekend as a whole. However, with that positive comes the bitter taste that this was “a missed opportunity” to claim his first points of the season.

The stewards did find Stroll at fault for the incident, handing the Canadian a 10-second time penalty, which will be scant consolation for Ricciardo.

SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 20: Yuki Tsunoda of Scuderia Visa Cash App RB talks to the media during

Tsunoda's run of points finishes came to an abrupt end in Shanghai

Tsunoda didn’t fare much better, running ahead of Magnussen’s Haas when the Dane tried to send it and instead managed to tap the RB into a spin, which caused both chassis damage and a puncture. It was the latter that prevented Tsunoda limping back to the pits, instead forcing him to park up on the grass.

“It was pretty clear, he clips my rear and he just, well, touched into me so I couldn’t have done anything much, didn’t have much space outside so it’s very clear and, yeah, unfortunate,” Tsunoda said afterwards.

READ MORE: FACTS AND STATS: Verstappen hits a hat trick of Sprint weekend doubles

“[I’m] just really frustrated with how we ended up because it was pretty good in terms of how I progressed until then… The pace itself, the start was good I think I gained five positions so I think I maximised what I can do.”

Like Stroll, Magnussen was deemed at fault and handed a time penalty for that crash. But with both cars out of the race on a day their rivals for P6 in the constructors’ Haas managed to score, RB will be keen to move on from what was a disappointing end to the weekend.

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