Ricciardo disputes reason for drive-through penalty

2013 Japanese Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, Suzuka, 2013Daniel Ricciardo rejected the stewards’ claim he “gained an advantage” by going off the track while overtaking Adrian Sutil during the Japanese Grand Prix.

Ricciardo was handed a drive-through penalty after running wide at 130R as he passed the Force India. The stewards ruled he “rejoined gaining an advantage”.

The stewards penalised Ricciardo for going because, they claimed, his “momentum after the move was not otherwise maintainable”.

However Ricciardo said after the race going off the track cost him time.

“I was moving up the order again after my first stop and then I made a move on the outside of Sutil at the 130R and got past him,” he said. “But after that, I ran wide onto the grass, which lost me a bit of time.”

“Sadly, the Stewards decided I had gained an advantage by going off the track and had to take a drive-through penalty, which of course ruined my race.”

Ricciardo told his team the penalty was “unbelievable” on the radio after the race.

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56 comments on Ricciardo disputes reason for drive-through penalty

  1. rambler said on 13th October 2013, 14:40

    Rightly done by the stewards.

    • Exactly, rookie behavior from Ricchardo

      • nackavich (@nackavich) said on 14th October 2013, 9:46

        Considering drivers such as Rosberg and Button have been penalized for similar moves recently, I wouldn’t call it a “rookie” move.
        Ricciardo had the position, he got the overtake done before the corner, but ended up slightly wide with 2 wheels either side of the kerb. The kerb bit back and he had to take to the run off so as to not fight the natural direction of the car.
        I’m not trying to justify that he didn’t deserve a penalty, but it was no “rookie” error. I think the Tarmac run-offs encourage drivers to try bolder moves, and Ricciardo was very close to making the move stick. But the instability over the kerb threw him right onto the Tarmac run off, ruining a pretty good move.
        Plus, he gave Sutil plenty of room, so professionally he didn’t cut him off and close the door. He’s driven well all season and this is his first drive through, at this point of the season why not try a few bolder moves?

    • pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 14th October 2013, 10:38

      Agreed. The old adage of imagining a wall there instead of a run-off area seems appropriate. Likely serious injuries would be sustained and definitely no pass on Sutil.

    • James (@jimmyboy) said on 16th October 2013, 8:04

      In your opinion.

      Fact is it was the wrong penalty.

  2. Slr (@slr) said on 13th October 2013, 14:42

    I’m really glad to see the stewards clamping down on drivers going off the circuit to overtake. Some might argue it ruins the racing and deprives us of seeing great passing moves, but if a driver has to resort to going outside the track limits to get ahead of another driver, then it really isn’t that great of an overtake.

  3. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 13th October 2013, 14:43

    The message said ‘Leaving the track AND gaining an advantage’
    It said not: ‘gaining an advantage BECAUSE leaving the track’
    What is there in the rules?

  4. Dimitris 1395 (@dimitris-1395) said on 13th October 2013, 14:45

    Even though I think it was a right penalty I can’t help but laugh at his team radio. It was absolutely epic!

  5. Greg C said on 13th October 2013, 14:49

    So maybe race control could just ask toro rosso / whoever to hand place back when this happens ?

    • tmekt (@tmekt) said on 13th October 2013, 16:16

      That’s not a penalty

      • Yes it is.
        The same thing happened to Alonso and Perez at Monaco this year.
        The stewards should’ve given the order for Ricciardo to give the place back to Sutil immediately instead of waiting and handing him a drive-through penalty later in the race OR Ricciardo should’ve done the smart thing and voluntarily give Sutil the place back.

        • Michael Brown (@) said on 13th October 2013, 17:37

          I wish the stewards would be able to quickly recognize when the overtake is illegal and inform the driver that they should give the position back.

          In 2011, Button cut the high speed chicane in Australia to pass Massa. Whitmarsh contacted the stewards to ask if Button should give the position back. The stewards did not answer, and later gave Button the drive through penalty.

          Later that same year in Monza, Schumacher was making some highly questionable moves to defend his position from Hamilton. The stewards give a warning to Schumacher to stop making those moves.

          • Strontium (@strontium) said on 13th October 2013, 19:05

            In 2011, Button cut the high speed chicane in Australia to pass Massa. Whitmarsh contacted the stewards to ask if Button should give the position back. The stewards did not answer, and later gave Button the drive through penalty.

            You kidding? They gave Button tonnes of chance to give it back, but he didn’t…

        • Yeah, Hockenheim 2012 springs to mind as well.
          Vettel got a post-race drive-through penalty because of that. He went from second to fifth due to that 20-seconds being added to his time.

          • In the case of Vettel in the 2012 German GP, the problem was that Vettel made the move on lap 66 of 67 and Red Bull started talking to race control to argue that the move was legal.
            Although it was only a brief discussion, because there was so little time left in the race for them to apply a penalty, it effectively prevented the stewards from taking any action until after the race.

            As for Ricciardo, another reason why the stewards would have found it difficult to order Ricciardo to let Sutil through is because Sutil pitted the following lap. That would have effectively given the stewards, at most, two minutes to receive the report of the incident, review the footage for mitigating circumstances on Ricciardo’s part, make their decision and then send a formal notification to the team for Ricciardo to hand the place back before Sutil came into the pits.

            I’m not sure that they would have been able to do that quickly enough for Ricciardo to have handed the place back before Sutil pitted, which effectively removed the option for the stewards to order Ricciardo to hand the place back.

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 13th October 2013, 21:38

      Or the driver and team could hand the place back before incurring a penalty. Here is what Ricciardo said:

      “…I made a move on the outside of Sutil at the 130R and got past him,” he said. “But after that, I ran wide onto the grass, which lost me a bit of time.”

      That certainly is minimizing the fact that he was momentarily out of control as a result of making the pass. He was ahead of Sutil when it happened, but it happened because of the way he passed. If there is a question, call your team on the radio and ask if you should give it back. That’s what his team is there for. They have the advantage of tv coverage and possibly replays. Then do it before receiving the penalty. I agree that it would be nice if race control gave the driver that opportunity. But. if you wait for race control to ask you to give it back, it is probably already too late and your fate is in their hands. If he gives the place back, he can most likely pass Sutil again without a penalty.

  6. Eddie (@wackyracer) said on 13th October 2013, 15:00

    It wasn’t like he purpously left the track and gained an advantage, he did a mistake…

  7. Racer (@racer) said on 13th October 2013, 15:03

    He went wide because he carried too much speed through the corner in order to get past Sutil. To make the corner he would have had to carry less speed which would have meant he wouldn’t have been able to get past Sutil in the first place. Absolutely 100% correct decision by the stewards.

  8. nickfrog (@nickfrog) said on 13th October 2013, 15:23

    What’s his problem ? Clear-cut decision really. Bizarre reaction on his part.

  9. PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 13th October 2013, 15:28

    Fair decision. Would never have made the pass without the extra space on the outside. Even though he was slower once off the track, he needed that extra space at first to make the move stick, and even slowing down, he had track position.

  10. RBR is regretting their decision to take Richhardo :p

  11. Cosmas (@cosmas) said on 13th October 2013, 15:35

    I think the decision was justified by the rules but was a bit harsh and kind of unfair for the following reasons:
    1)Ricciardo was alredy infront of Sutil when he went off the track
    2) He didn’t gained an advantage by cuting the corner ( he was on the outside)
    3) It was clear this was not an intentional move . You have to be very stupid to do such a move to gain an advantage, risking an accident.
    4) As Ricciardo himself said, he actually lost time by going off the track.

    • spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 13th October 2013, 15:58

      @cosmas sorry but
      1) he went in the corner too fast (which allowed him to pass Sutil) and thus went off the track – mistake
      2) the advantage he gained was +1place
      3) intentionality is totally irrelevant
      4) the lost time because of his mistake is irrelevant too
      5) He did not gave the position back to Sutil

      Maybe the marshals could have reacted quicker with ordering him to give the position back?
      Maybe his team could have reacted faster too?
      But when it was too late to give it back the only logical punishment was the drive-through. Multiple failures but it was the only way to be fair with Sutil.

    • Mr win or lose said on 13th October 2013, 16:29

      Couldn’t agree more. Of course the stewards were formally right and of course he should have given that place back. But please stop these ridiculous penalties. This situation didn’t demand any further race-control intervention because of the points mentioned. Just let them race.

  12. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 13th October 2013, 17:17

    Is Ricciardo practicing for when he takes over from Webber next year?

    • ferrox glideh (@ferrox-glideh) said on 15th October 2013, 3:00

      He seems to have taken a page from Webber’s Big Book of Unjustifiable Indignation. He is lucky that 130R isn’t quite the corner that it used to be, or he would have been complaining from the back of an ambulance.

  13. Pandaslap (@pandaslap) said on 13th October 2013, 17:42

    He was out of control – way too fast and out of position to execute an overtake – through 130R and deserved the penalty. The “I actually lost time going off track” argument is absurd. I was embarrassed for him and his indignation after the race was cringe-worthy.

  14. OOliver said on 13th October 2013, 18:13

    We all seem to be looking forward to all these penalties for flinmsy infractions. While I do admit there exists precedence, it still makes the whole concept of a professional sport to look amateurish.

  15. Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 13th October 2013, 18:16

    He passed him on the corner and then just happened to end up going wide in the corner once he was already infront of Sutil and he ended up losing time to Sutil when he went wide.

    He did not gain position or an advantage by running wide.

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