Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2022

Ricciardo handed three-place grid drop and penalty point for impeding Ocon

2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Daniel Ricciardo has been handed a three place grid penalty and one penalty point on his superlicence for impeding Esteban Ocon in qualifying.

The stewards determined that Ricciardo and his McLaren team were both partly responsible for impeding the Alpine driver in Q2.

The McLaren driver had overtaken the Alpine earlier in the session as Ocon prepared for a flying lap. After Ricciardo had finished his hot lap, he backed off after being told over team radio that those cars behind him “should be in phase” – meaning they believed he would not have to yield to any drivers behind on flying laps.

However, Ocon behind had begun a timed lap and began rapidly catching the McLaren through the first sector. Ricciardo was warned that “Ocon could be pushing – may just be a fast in-lap”, but by then the Alpine had caught the McLaren approaching the fast entry to turn seven and had to immediately slow down to avoid risking a collision.

“He blocked me completely, fucking hell,” Ocon complained over team radio. Later, Ocon was able to improve his time on a following run and reach Q3, where he eventually qualified fifth, while Ricciardo was originally eliminated in 12th.

During the investigation into the incident, Ocon told the stewards that although he had been forced to abandon his qualifying lap at the time, his overall performance in the session had not been compromised by the incident.

Despite this, the stewards considered Ocon’s progression into Q3 as irrelevant to the incident as he had still been forced to back off from his timed lap. The stewards therefore handed Ricciardo a three-place grid drop for tomorrow’s race and imposed a €10,000 fine on McLaren for “failing in its duty to keep [Ricciardo] properly informed of approaching cars.”

Ricciardo was also handed one penalty point on his superlicence. It was the first penalty point given to the McLaren driver in over a year, his last coming in the 2020 Russian Grand Prix for exceeding track limits during the race.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

    Browse all 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix articles

    Author information

    Will Wood
    Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    10 comments on “Ricciardo handed three-place grid drop and penalty point for impeding Ocon”

    1. Interesting ruling. If the stewarding is meant up be more consistent this season this doesn’t set the best precedent.

      1. I’m confused by your comment, it seemed fair given Ocon had to abandoned the lap. To me it drew a clear line for the season.

        1. 100% agree. Danny Ric was cruising right in the middle of the road. The penalty is definitely justified.

        2. Have to agree with you. The stewards correctly ignored ocon’s point about getting into q3.

          The situation was very dangerous and warrants a penalty. I guess what surprises me is how much of the penalty falls on the driver, when the McLaren pitwall seems to be largely to blame here

          1. The Dolphins
            27th March 2022, 0:48

            Yes the situation was dangerous, I wouldn’t consider Daniel’s driving dangerous, and I agree the team is really to blame. A 3 place drop is arguably appropriate however the monetary penalty on the team and the penalty point on Daniel’s license are more of a statement in my opinion. 10,000 Euro for a team? 1 penalty point for a driver? Neither significant in punishment but both a bit unusual to add in this scenario on top of a grid drop.

            1. Wouldn’t you think that driving slowly down the middle of year road, at *this* track would be considered dodgy?

      2. If the stewarding is meant up be more consistent this season this doesn’t set the best precedent.

        Forgetting the semantic challenge that a ‘first’ will always be consistent; what is it you disagree with?

    2. If you watch the video his engineer notified him after ocon passed. Ocon was in daniels blind spot.. that’s honestly a bit extreme to give him a grid penalty point and to drop him 3 places… when it was something he had nothing to do with. He would never drive recklessly. Way to extreme. The team earning the fine makes sense as it was the teams fault neglecting to tell him.. that could have been also dangerous for him as to ocon as they both could have crashed.

      1. That’s not how it works. Have you watched F1 before? The penalty is completely justified.

    3. Justified even though he eventually qualified lower than Ocon anyway.

    Comments are closed.