Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2018

Marshal’s action in Mexico led to Ricciardo’s grid penalty

2018 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo’s five-place grid penalty for the Brazilian Grand Prix is a consequence of how marshals handled his car when he retired from the previous race in Mexico.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner revealed Ricciardo’s turbo had to be replaced because it was damaged by foam from a fire extinguisher when his car was recovered after he retired from the race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

“You can’t really blame them, the car was obviously smoking,” Horner told Sky. “They shot foam up the exhaust and as it solidifies in the turbo it’s terminated it.

“So he’ll take a five-place penalty. Hopefully on a track like this it’s actually not that big a penalty.”

Horner also revealed Max Verstappen was fortunate to win the race as his power unit was in the early stages of a potentially terminal failure. He missed the beginning of the second practice session in Brazil as the team had to replaced a damaged part on his car.

“The oil tower on the front of the engine has developed a crack so it was starting to leak oil in [the first] session. So it’s had to be changed. The guys have done a great job in getting the engine off the back and back on, replacing the part. Hopefully no more than a half-hour delay.

“The lucky thing is we suspect that crack may have started in Mexico because there was a little bit of oil loss in the race that couldn’t be accounted for,” he added. “So actually probably pretty lucky that it got to the end of the race.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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31 comments on “Marshal’s action in Mexico led to Ricciardo’s grid penalty”

  1. Well this is just TOO convenient now. Is it only me who sees the full scale of Horner’s deviousness and the lengths he’ll go to to sabotage drivers that leave Red Bull Racing?!

    1. I believe in unicorns…

      But, I do not necessarily believe that RBR is purposely sabotaging their own cars.

    2. Yes, he obviously has a masterplan to toss away points, money and reputation in order to…. what exactly?

      Even leaving aside the utter lack of evidence, the near impossibility to do something like this without involving tons of technicians into the ‘conspiracy’, the near impossibility to keep something like that a secret AND the monumental stupidity Horner would need to suffer from to run these risks… there is simply no motive for him to do so.

      1. @moi RBR are throwing away money as points simply do not matter anymore and Horner’s reputation is already suspect.

        1. @moi RBR are not throwing away money as points simply do not matter anymore and Horner’s reputation is already suspect.

    3. @gongtong, seriously? That is a ridiculous thing to believe. How on earth would that benefit Red Bull?

      1. I think he has no clue what’s going on in the RB factory. The maintenance on a front wing alone is just baffeling. The effort these people make is incredible. Sabotaging themselves? Never.

      2. he forgot the /s

    4. Is it only me

      No @gongtong, there are whole groups obsessed with crazy ideas.
      Try flat-earthers; you might find some like-minded friends there :P

    5. Yeah, we can be sure he instructed those marshalls explicitly to fire enough of that extinguisher up the exaust to make sure it would damage the turbo, right @gongtong.

    6. The mechanic with the fireextinguisher was Dr. Marko. You are not the only one to ‘see’ but you are not nearly seeing enough. The RB factory produces extasy, weapons of mass destruction and my little ponies filled with explosives. The real surname of max is rockefeller. Their so called ‘own fuel’ produces chemtrails. The sparkly drink is making us blind for the reality that the f1 racing team is actually owned by the bilderberg group.

      1. I think a couple of people saw through it. I apologise, I should have used sarcasm tags or a winky face.

        @shimks @coldfly @bascb

        1. I thought it would be obvious, but i think the problem is that there really are some idiots about so you just don’t know anymore.

          But I don’t think we can compare a theory like this to the flat earth idea. I mean have any of us here actually been all the way ‘around’ it…?

  2. You can’t really blame them, the car was obviously smoking,” Horner told Sky. “They shot foam up the exhaust and as it solidifies in the turbo it’s terminated it.

    I used to work with a guy who had been a fireman in London. He said one of he problems with extinguishing a fire is the damage done to a property by dousing everything in water. While the damage is less than what the fire would have done, it is still a significant cost.

    1. @jerejj
      Hate to admit it.. But I chuckled after reading the article as well.
      You really can’t catch a break when your on for a podium finish, and your engine blows up.. Then the Marshall attending to your car puts the fire out and accidently destroys your turbo for the next race.. And you incur another grid penalty.
      Poor guy

  3. Perhaps it was inadvertent, but this headline is misleading and should be improved.

    1. which part @chaddy?

    2. The headline needs to roughly fit within a line, so it has to be stripped down to the core message. I don’t see what’s wrong, especially since the article clarifies the sequence of events.

      I’m not sure how it is misleading, perhaps you could mention how you interpreted it?

      1. @phylyp: Would it help if we implied the marshall was last seen leaving the RBR lounge just before the race watching 3D animations of where to avoid blasting fire retardant. ;-)

        1. @jimmi-cynic

          Horner: “Whatever you do, don’t spray anything here” (big wink)

  4. There should be some form of waiver to allow unpenalized repairs when a mechanical problem is caused by an event not related to reliability or accident damage. In this case the turbo was damaged by foam sprayed by a marshal. It seems unfair that a team be penalized through an event completely outside the driver’s or team’s control.

    1. Agree.

      More pathetic FIA crayoning in the rule book. A new turbo might give you a small advantage in the next race, but since you get zero points for the DNF, over the two, I fail to see how you gained an advantage.

      1. Indeed, @invisiblekid. With Danny Ric’s horrible onslaught of DNFs approaching double digits, instead of a penalty for replacing the turbo, the FIA should give Daniel a 5 place grid boost. That’s the fair thing to do.

    2. @Greenflag you ARE kidding right?
      Marshall’s don’t hose down cars that aren’t on fire, so the obvious root of the problems is the fire exiting the combustion chambers, the ruined turbo is only a result.

      You guys are a laugh sometimes! Don’t like fire retardant on your race car? Keep it not on fire…

    3. @greenflag, let’s be honest though – how long do you think such a system would last before teams started trying to abuse it by trying to claim that components were being damaged by external events in an attempt to make changes without penalty?

  5. The headline categorically implies that a marshal is responsible for, or made some error leading to, Red Bull’s engine penalty.

    The actual sequence of events is something like:
    Red Bull engine sucks > engine fails and catches fire > marshal puts out fire > turbo needs to be replaced > turbo replacements require starting penalties.

    While literally true, even Christian Horner doesn’t suggest that the marshal did anything wrong– when there’s a fire you put it out. (The headline and body also disagree in terms of whether one or multiple marshals were involved.)

    A less sensational headline would be something like, “Fire extinguishment necessitated Ricciardo’s turbo replacement” or “Ricciardo engine penalty due to turbo fire during Mexican GP”.

    Seems like the sort of thing that one writes without thinking too much about, but needs to step back and re-read the way someone approaching the title without knowing the actual story will understand it. Racefans has set a high bar, which is why something below that standard seems worth pointing out.

    1. Headlines attract people.
      Sorry to say this site adapts to the internet standards on headlines.. ;(

    2. Ever so right, Chad! I hate clickbait and it shouldn’t be necessary here, where – I suppose – we read it all anyway.

    3. Good points. I agree that the title is not a representative or reflective of the incident itself. You have clearly explained lyour rationale and suggested good alternatives. Hope this feedback will be taken seriously. We do not need sensationalist headlines.

    4. Hi Chad – although I agree with the gist of your comment I feel that: “The headline categorically implies…” is equally deceptive. One might say: ‘categorically states’ but, as the headline only ‘implies’ a marshal was at fault, making it categorical is like saying: ‘The headline unambiguously and explicitly implies…’ which I find a bit odd… Just my 2¢… ;-)

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