Ricciardo has always been known for his quality overtaking, but in Brazil, there was talk around his pass on Magnussen for all the wrong reasons, after a dive to the inside turned sour, with the Australian running wide and clashing with the Dane, sending him to a spin.
The overtake didn’t sit well with the stewards as either, as Ricciardo was handed a five-second time penalty. Even with this handicap, however, he regained ground and ultimately finished seventh, seizing the opportunity of the chaos at the restarts. Post-race, he was then promoted to sixth, after Lewis Hamilton received a penalty for his move on Alexander Albon.
The Australian felt it was an awesome recovery after a poor start, but he also took the blame for the incident against Magnussen. “In the heat of the battle and also, to be honest, sitting as low as we do, you don’t always see how much room there was,” said Ricciardo.
“Obviously I hit him and he spun, so whether he squeezed me or not, I don’t know. But, I wanted to apologise because if I’m in that position, and someone hits me, I would expect the same. I knew as he spun, ‘there’s a chance the stewards will give me a penalty now’.
“So, I was obviously upset with myself, and upset with the incident, but I think, to be honest, we kept our head down, didn’t expect to get up to seventh but we made it happen, and that part of the race was really strong. The penultimate re-start was awesome.
“I think I got three cars, maybe, on that lap. It was fun, it was cool.” Meanwhile, Magnussen’s race didn’t go as to plan after the incident as he ended up 11th.
He was unable to recover and lost yet more time in the re-starts, partly because the Haas car isn’t able to generate heat quick enough. “It’s a shame, this feels like a missed opportunity for the team – it just didn’t go our way,” said Magnussen.
“I got turned around at the beginning of the race by Ricciardo and lost a lot of positions, I then had damage on the front wing. At the safety car later, everyone else was just a lot stronger than us at the restart, I just didn’t have enough to hang onto it.
“I got passed and ultimately missed out on the points by just one place – which doesn’t feel good.”
[Note: this story was written by me for FormulaRapida and edited by Darshan Chokhani]