Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Singapore, 2019

Angry Ricciardo felt “disgraced” by disqualification

2019 Singapore Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo said he felt “disgraced” by the stewards’ decision to disqualify him from the results of qualifying in the Singapore Grand Prix.

The Renault driver had to start from the back of the grid after he was thrown out of qualifying. The stewards ruled his MGU-K had exceeded the maximum power delivery during his second-fastest lap in Q2.

He admitted he had “a very restless night’s sleep” after learning about the penalty. “[I was] trying to go through it in my head why a penalty would be so harsh,” said Ricciardo when asked by RaceFans.

“For me, it happened on one occurrence on one lap. If it was happening on the same corner every lap for the whole session I would not complain at all.

“But it’s like track limits you go off, gain an advantage, delete that lap. We didn’t even gain an advantage from this yet they delete the whole session. So I was disgraced by that and voiced my opinion, I’ll keep voicing it.

“They’re doing great things on track, letting us race and all that. But then what’s the point of not giving penalties on track for then giving a massive penalty for something that’s out of my control?”

According to Renault, Ricciardo’s MGU-K delivered excess power following contact with a kerb, and the infringement lasted just 0.000001 seconds. Ricciardo said the team didn’t consider it worth submitting a protest. “They said it was like they were talking to people that didn’t care to listen, so they didn’t think it was worth appealing.”

The decision “literally ruined my weekend” said Ricciardo, who finished the race in 14th.

“I feel like they should pay for my business class ticket back. So anyway it’s a bit of a waste of time coming here now.”

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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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25 comments on “Angry Ricciardo felt “disgraced” by disqualification”

  1. The decision “literally ruined my weekend” said Ricciardo

    I like you, Daniel, but you are wrong – it is your team (and Engine Manufacturer along the way) ruined your weekend.

    Ask them how 19 other drivers don’t have over-revs on curbs. Ever, in the Hybrid era.

    1. @dallein c’mon mate. It’s happened ONCE for a millisecond since the beginning of the hybrid era and was very obviously a temporary glitch. The Electronic Control unit is a McLaren unit to FIA spec so what’s to say it wasn’t an FIA part that caused it? Also do you appreciate just what length of time a millisecond is? It was immeasurable not long ago.

    2. Over-Revs occur quite commonly, VES was hampered by one in qualifying just a couple of races ago, his over rev sent the Honda engine into a safe mode.

      As far as the penalty goes. It seems ridiculous, but at the end of the day it’s a technical infringement and thems the rules.

      Buttttttttt…. I would suggest these rules are to prevent advantages being gained, and seeing as no advantage was gained at the end of qualifying I don’t see why the stewards can’t use discretion like they do for on track issues…barging someone off the track on the exit of a corner is surely a much bigger violation than an accidental spike in electrical output that resulted in a microsecond advantage ( that was probably negated by hitting the kurb anyway).

  2. It does on the face of it appears to be a ridiculous penalty. What advantage did Renault gain from this infraction?

    1. Fail to see anything ridiculous.
      There is a simple technical regulation – “don’t cross this “line” with your engine, and you will be fine”.
      Somehow all manufacturers in the whole hybrid era managed to stay within this regulation.

      Renault this time – couldn’t it. Neither the fact that it happened for the first time, nor the severity of violation should be an excuse for such infringement to be “allowed”.
      If it is allowed – then let’s allow everything which happens for the first time. Now THAT will be ridiculous.

      1. I watch a lot of Formula E races and this happens on daily basis there, even pole sitters get sent to the back of the grid. Not saying that it makes it better for Danny Ric, but rules are rules. Maybe some tweaking of the rules is needed, but all in all this was a race (and season) to forget for the aussie.

        1. but all in all this was a race (and season) to forget for the aussie.

          je himself decide to choose this team and left an potential winning team.car.

      2. And how do we know other engines haven’t exceeded this limit?

        How do we know it wasn’t a result of crossing the bridge, which apparently has a fairly strong magnetic field? More importantly, does *any* team have software on their cars designed to prevent this fairly unusual circumstance from happening?

        Renault was singled out because the FIA was slammed for letting Ferrari do whatever they wanted to at Monza. They didn’t even slap LeClerc on the wrist– they showed him a picture of someone getting their wrist slapped.

        You want hard, unrelenting rule enforcement? Fine, do it across the board. Penalize everyone. You want to allow racing, and extenuating circumstances? Fine, give the stewards some leniency.

        You can’t have both, though. The FIA is trying to be nice, and hardline, all at the same time. It doesn’t work.

      3. This happened on his slowest lap, not on fastest. Simply reset his time in that lap, that’s it.

    2. The question about gain is meaningless. Only things that matter is the rules and intent and even with the latter it is impossible to be a mind reader and know what were the intentions. Track limits are different than technical factors. If you go wide in a corner then deleting that lap is fine because the incident is limited to that one corner and next lap at most. But if you run with illegal engine then your whole session is deleted.

  3. Tell that to the Alfa Romeo team for losing a double points finish due to something on the rear with that did nothing good for them Daniel.

  4. If only FIA woull be consistent with their punishments… Shame on FIA!
    If they could invent ‘5mm tolerance’ then 0.000001 second tolerance would be easy as pie. Unfortunately for Renault, they are not Ferrari.

    1. Are you really suggesting that Riccardo’s technical disqualification in 2019 is outrageous because people at the FIA disgracefully bent the rules TWENTY YEARS AGO?

      1. I suggest that FIA and their stewards are inventing new milder penalties (black and white flag, 5000 euro for unsafe pit release) or delete penalties for Ferrari (1999 Malaysia GP). It happens EVERY YEAR!

        1. So lunaslide is right.. you are comparing very old apples with new pears.

        2. The on track penalties are a different conversation to the technical regulations. There will always be some subjectivity in the calls the stewards make about on track action. For what it’s worth, I too felt the 5000 euro fine for unsafe release was not consistent with recent penalties for the same offense and it should have been. But technical regulations when followed to the letter do not allow for subjective decisions whatsoever, which is why the 5mm business 20 years ago was so egregiously corrupt.

          The fact there is no subjectivity in technical regulations about the car are why they sometimes feel so unjust, but are in fact fair. There is a black and white limit on a measurable aspect of the car’s construction or operation. Whether you are over the limit by 1mm or 10cm, or 1 millionth of a second or 5 seconds, or 1ml of fuel or oil or 5l, you’re over the limit designated by the regulations and the penalty is spelled out in objective terms. The fact that the Irvine appeal happened the way it did 20 years ago should make us *glad* that the regs are followed so strictly today. It’s an indication that the sport has become less corrupt and not more, even if it doesn’t work out for drivers and teams that we like.

          It obviously, totally sucks for Riccardo. I really feel for him, and for the Alfa boys on their double DQ, and every time some very small infringement ruins a driver’s weekend, because ultimately they aren’t responsible for such things at all. But it’s a team sport, and they win or lose or get penalized as a whole team.

  5. It showed. Drove like a teenager today, and not always in a positive way.

    1. Ricciardo was the only person who made the first half of the race worth watching. He did some excellent overtaking, and was absolutely remarkable in terms of getting the tyres to last. Renault should have pitted him straight after he was overtaken from 3rd place though.

      1. yep, driving at the front was a joke

  6. drivers repeatedly ask for consistency in the rules. These are the rules being applied as they are written.

    If they didn’t apply this penalty, it would only be a matter of time before ferrari and others starting having strange incidents of excess power and if they did not punish renault then they would not be able to punish them.

    Understandable that Ricciardo feels hard done by, it’s hardly his fault but his team should ensure that his card doesnt do this.

  7. This sanction demonstrates the degree of stupidity of the FIA judges. They are a shame.

    1. @jorge-lardone, nonsense technical rules are very necessary and every breach should be punished. It does not matter if there was or was not any advantage. If you break the technical rules there is always a penalty: deserved one!

  8. Doesn’t matter how much he complains, his car violated the rules so the disqualification is fair. I suggest he complains to his engineers to ascertain why it happened and to prevent it in the future.
    I think Ricciardo is a great driver but he needs to realise when sending the dive bombs now that he’s racing cars that think they have a chance to beat him so they will be more aggressive in defence. Sending a hail mary up the inside of a championship contender is very different to a midfielder with nothing to lose.

  9. I suggest he complains to his engineers to ascertain why it happened and to prevent it in the future

    Yes, that’s about the best advice I think anyone could give. While it is unlikely, it could be the measurement of something exceeding the FIA power rules for 1 microsecond was electronic noise, meaning Ricciardo’s car never cheated at all. I guess the lesson from this is to make sure they use the kerbs in the Practice sessions to see if this problem replicates itself, and if it does to avoid hitting the kerbs in Qualifying.

  10. Technical matters have almost always been dealt with strictly, possibly because as a general rule, engineers breaching the technical rules can’t rely on youthful indiscretion or heat-of-the-moment folly to justify their mistakes.

Comments are closed.