Ricciardo apologizes after first lap of five-car 'damage' race

'As unpleasant as it gets': Ricciardo apologizes after first lap of race 'damaged' by five-car crash

Daniel Ricciardo's Mexican Grand Prix was 'ruined' after just one lap as a huge five-car event rocked the chasing pack and also left the Australian behind while in need of a all new front wing.

As the lights went out in Mexico, Ricciardo, who had started seventh on the grid, flew inside the dirty side of the track to squeeze a few places before having to run straight back into the motorcade.

Nevertheless, despite effectively executing the very first part of the plan and climbing all the way to fourth place at one point, when he was stopping late to combine his brand new frame, he locked himself in before cutting the rear of Valtteri Bottas' Mercedes as well as spinning it.

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Ricciardo lost his fly before the accident while the aftermath of Bottas' spin triggered a second collision between Yuki Tsunoda, Mick Schumacher and Esteban Ocon, with Tsunoda and Schumacher coming off the worst and leaving the race after many less than one turn.

This resulted in a safety car and truck, with Ricciardo and Bottas in the back, having changed to the hard stuff tyres.

Stewards ruled the collision was simply a 'racing incident', but as the duo failed to pass those at the rear, F1 commentator Martin Brundle confessed it was 'much worse than what than I imagined".

"It won't be that long, considering when the leader is in the pits, until they get the blue flag to comply and ultimately ruin their races," he added. “They are currently losing 5 seconds per turn stuck there.”

The early rest stop saw Ricciardo and Bottas at one point move up the area, but it's unclear where their true locations actually are when each person has actually completed their initial stops.

The duo invested the whole race and fought against each other, but neither could enter the points as Ricciardo finished 12th, Bottas' sloppy second save costing him and seeing him fall to 15th place.

“The first-lap incident was as excruciating as they get because your race is pretty much over from the start,” Ricciardo said.

"There was definitely a lot going on. I still haven't seen a full replay.

"The first 100m to turn one...it's always nice underneath because there's so many wakes, it's messy, it's a little choppy, but there's a kind of fun in the bustle .

"After stopping, I keep in mind that there was space inside with Perez, so there was a void, and that was among those where if you don't go with away, then someone else will definitely do it and you can easily get swallowed up.

"So at that point there was a bit of an affordable zone to choose from and from memory it was pretty much under control throughout the first part of the braking and then as we got closer to the top the whole world started locking up and also at the last minute you try to slow the car down I secured a bit as clearly as Valtteri found it so a combination of that and clearly we hit.

"I apologized to him. I'm not sure without really seeing it but it was me who got into him and also in the minimum state sorry for him now and also see if there's a lot that I could have done or if it's just turning an incident into a bottleneck.

“Anyway, it looked useful for a few hundred yards and then it flipped pretty quickly.

"It was racing and it was also 70 long laps after that."

Jenson Switch added that he was "shocked" that Ricciardo managed to avoid a fine from the keepers for the incident.

He claimed: "I marvel he hasn't been given a severe fine for this. Enjoying it once again is like Valtteri trying to put the button back on Lewis and I think that's why that kinda knocked Daniel out."

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