Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Hungaroring, 2019

Ricciardo says Perez incident happened because he followed Hamilton

2019 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo has given his explanation for the qualifying incident involving him and Sergio Perez which the Racing Point driver described as “crazy” and “disrespectful”.

Ricciardo tried to overtake Perez around the outside of the final corner at the beginning of their final laps in Q1 after he caught a train of cars comprising Perez, Romain Grosjean and Lewis Hamilton.

“I was told that I had quite a buffer to the chequered flag so I knew I could have gone slower. But what I didn’t expect at the time was the train of cars in the last corner. At the time I wasn’t really aware the number of cars that still were yet to start their lap.”

Ricciardo said that left him with a choice between backing off, which would cause his tyre temperatures to drop, or risk starting his lap by passing the cars ahead.

“I saw Lewis go and he went through and got a clear gap,” said Ricciardo. “So it’s like at that point do I go? And I’m like ‘yeah I’m going to go’. I got Grosjean and I thought I could clear Perez but we were both side-by-side in the last corner.”

The pair held each other up, and although both subsequently improved their lap times, neither made it through into Q2.

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A string of similar incidents have occured at previous races this year, including in Bahrain, China and Austria. Ricciardo believes teams are “trying to be too clever” and need to leave more time for drivers at the end of qualifying sessions.

“I don’t want to say ‘Lewis started it’ because I’m not pointing the finger at him,” he said. “But obviously when some people just start to go, I saw Grosjean was trying to go with Perez and I want to get in it as well.

“It’s just messy and I think it’s a bit like probably China: Too many cars going too late. If we go too slow our tyres are going to get cold and we might not make it in time to cross the line.

“So it’s probably just for everyone that we could just go earlier and create less chaos. We are trying to maximise the track conditions but it’s we might be just trying to be too clever.”

Ricciardo said the situation was more frustrating because he believes his car was quick enough to reach Q3. “It’s easy to sit here and say it but yes, it was, it really was.

“I felt like the first lap in Q1 was actually pretty average but the car was a lot better than the morning and I knew there was easy lot time there. So I think that was part of the frustration. I think if we were slow all weekend and expected to be out in Q1 then you kind of say well we didn’t really deserve better but I definitely felt like we were.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 11 comments on “Ricciardo says Perez incident happened because he followed Hamilton”

    1. “I don’t want to say ‘Lewis started it’ because I’m not pointing the finger at him,” he said. “But obviously when some people just start to go, I saw Grosjean was trying to go with Perez and I want to get in it as well.

      What does Ricciardo mean by this.
      I didn’t hear any driver complain about Lewis
      He also mentions Grosjean, but he himself overtook Grosjean.

      1. I suppose, as we have seen in all the quali’s this year, the mercedes cars are just really taking it slow in that outlap/warm-up lap, to not heat their tyres too abruptly – it works for them, given their consistently good S3’s, but it also means that other teams have to calculate that in with the gaps they have behind those cars.

        In the end, what Ricciardo means is: teams, it just isn’t worth cutting it soo close to the end of the session, the risk to reward, regardless of what the chain of events exactly was yesterday, is just not good enough to do that.

        1. Wait, no, I got that wrong – so Hamilton was late, decided he was not waiting in the queue, so then the question is ‘do I follow, or do I have enough time to fall back and start the lap well’ – HAM, being a front runner, is probably not seen by most of the midfield as direct competition, and in a faster car, so has a better change of getting (let) through, but for everybody else, the right answer has to be ‘hang back’ … if they have time, that is.

          In the end, answer is the same: so teams give those drivers that slack, and inform them they have the time to do that too.

    2. Hamilton went past much earlier than the final corner. Ricciardo is not fooling anyone. Perez had every right to feel annoyed with a car coming round the outside in the last corner as he was about to start his lap.

      Anyway he didn’t get through to Q2.

    3. Renault are a complete mess this season. I think they’ve been the biggest loser in terms of where they are in 2019 compared with ‘18. Cyril claims this and that, says they have this big upgrade which will get them to the front (how did that turn out?) yet the team has a poor car and terrible strategies in races. They als I have a head in the sand approach, thinking they’re not too far off from the top 3. On the evidence of this season they’ve been overtaken by McLaren, Alfa, HAAS when they get their act together and are probably on par with STR. And this for a works team?

      Being an Aussie I really hoped for Dan’s sake they would be right there with Red Bull this season, instead, as we’ve seen since the start of the hybrid era, they are nowhere. The move to Renault is looking like a very bad decision…

      1. Yep Renault really need to come back from the break with a renewed strategy and some big improvements in the car. It ‘s only getting harder to sell the costs of running an F1 team when they fail to deliver.

        1. What must RIC be thinking when he sees Max take pole….. He must feel that would have been his had he stayed at RBR. When he was there Dani used to have the better of Max whenever there was a pole on offer, and in qualifying generally.

          1. That is not true though, @Jeffreyj the first year in the RB together Daniel was often the faster driver, but Max improved with experience and last year Daniel only beat Verstappen 3 times, and one of those Max had engine issues to deal with.

            1. @bascb it is true when it comes to taking poles, Dan had 2 poles last year (2018), Max had none.

    4. I’ll say it’s a “qualifying incident”.

    5. So sick of drivers crying because everyone else didn’t jump over the barriers to leave them an empty track! Same goes with penalties because someone got in their way. Jusy get on with it!

    Comments are closed.