“Made my blood boil” — a furious Ricciardo lashes out at unrepentant Stroll after F1 Chinese GP collision

Photo credit: Visa Cash App RB F1 Team
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A furious Daniel Ricciardo had a few choice words about Lance Stroll following their collision shortly before the safety car restart on lap 26.

A lock-up by Fernando Alonso at the hairpin caused the Aston Martin to overshoot the corner, leading the cars behind to slow, creating a concertina effect. Ricciardo was running ninth when Stroll slammed into him from behind, lifting the rear of the RB. 

Stroll blamed Ricciardo for the collision over team radio, saying, “This idiot just slammed on the brakes.”

Although Ricciardo initially continued, it quickly became apparent that his car was compromised by floor and diffuser damage, forcing him to retire just a couple of laps later. 

Both RB drivers ultimately DNFed as elsewhere Yuki Tsunoda was hit and spun by Kevin Magnussen in an unrelated incident. 

Ricciardo reacted to Stroll’s remark after the race, telling the media: “I’d slowly started to calm down and then I was told what Lance thinks of the accident, or the incident.

“And apparently I’m an idiot and it was my fault. So, that made my blood boil. 

“Because it’s clear as day—and it’s also behind a safety car. The only thing you’ve got to do is watch the car in front, we can’t predict what the leader is going to do. We can’t assume that we’re going to go in Turn 14. The race doesn’t start until the control line.”

“I’m doing my best not to say what I want to say,” Ricciardo added, clearly incensed. “But f**k that guy—and I’m being nice still. But if that’s what he thinks…

“I mean, look, I won’t go harder because maybe in an hour when he sees it, he might take some accountability, but if he doesn’t, I can’t help him and look at anyone here.”

“Yeah, it’s so, so frustrating,” Ricciardo continued. “Obviously racing incidents happen.

“Like, yeah, things happen, but behind a safety car, that’s just like, that should never happen. And I think what makes my blood boil is I watched his onboard to just, let’s say, see it from his perspective to try to maybe just have some type of understanding.” 

Ricciardo attributed the incident to Stroll’s lack of situational awareness, as other drivers around them managed to react in time. 

“As soon as we start braking, you can see his helmet turn right,” he said. “And he’s looking at the apex of Turn 14. He’s not even watching me. And then when he looks back, he’s in the back of me.

“So I don’t know what he’s doing, where his head is, but all you have to do is worry about me in that situation. And he clearly wasn’t. 

“I could see it was bunching up in [Turn] 14, you know, and as I said, we can’t know for a fact… I guess it was Max leading. So we don’t know when he’s going to go. You know, even if he bunches up in 14, doesn’t mean he’s going to go out of 14. Maybe he bunches up again in 15 or 16. 

“So you just have to obviously try and stay close to the car in front, but not hit the car in front. And yeah, we all bunched up. Fair enough. It’s a hairpin. 

“But I mean, again, it’s not like he just tapped me and gave me a punch or something. He went underneath my car, so he hit me so fast. You can’t deny that. It’s not an unlucky thing where he’s just tapped me. It was underneath me, so.”

“Obviously I felt I was, yeah, up high. So I knew there was going to be quite a bit,” Ricciardo said of the damage he sustained.

“We had a few corners after that incident before that kind of second restart. And I already felt it was going to be bad. So obviously we tried on that second one to go, but deep down, I knew we were going to probably retire the car.”

Oscar Piastri also ended up being affected, later being told by his race engineer that he’d sustained significant damage as the initial impact pushed Ricciardo into the back of his McLaren.

“Ah. Yeah, I mean, that is, again, another thing,” said Ricciardo. “[Stroll] probably affected two of our races. Hopefully, as I said, when he comes here, he takes some accountability.”

Stroll was handed a 10-second time penalty for the collision, along with two penalty points on his licence. Regardless of the punishment, Ricciardo insisted that Stroll needs to learn to take responsibility for his actions. 

“For me, the biggest thing is, if [the stewards] are like, ‘oh, we’ll give him a five place penalty next race’. But he still is then blaming me, that’s a bigger problem,” Ricciardo said.

“I want him to understand that once the dust settles, if he’s still hot-headed today… he needs to learn from this, you know. And we’ve all made mistakes. I’ve done it. We all have. 

“But yeah, as long as he understands that he was the one that’s ruined, obviously, not only his race, but mine, that’s the biggest thing we can take away.”

Photo credit: Aston Martin Aramco F1 Team

Stroll, meanwhile, dismissed the incident as “really stupid.”

“Ah, a concertina effect,” he said. “Someone brakes at the front of the pack, I don’t know who. And then everyone stops. Yeah, the car in front of me just stopped from like 60 to 0. Boom.

“So, really stupid incident. One of those.”

Stroll was penalised by the stewards, who “determined that Car 18 ought to have anticipated the pace of the cars in front, particularly Car 3 and should have prepared to brake accordingly.”

He disagreed, claiming that he had no warning that the cars in front were bunching up. He admitted that he expected a bit more leniency from the stewards. 

“Yeah, I think it’s just because of the fact that I hit the guy,” he said of the penalty. “But someone hit the brakes and caused a concertina, I don’t know who.

“But I find it’s just, yeah, that I got a penalty because of the end result that I hit Riccardo. But it’s not like everything was normal and I just slammed into the back of him. It was a really odd concertina effect that I would have liked to see the stewards take into consideration maybe a little bit more. It is what it is.

“It was just like we’re going 60 and then started to slow a little bit and then like 0 all of a sudden. It’s really, I guess, a little bit wrong place too. I was in his gearbox kind of thing and ready for the restart and just very unlucky. We were having a good race until then so it’s a shame.

Stroll also clarified his earlier remarks regarding Ricciardo, saying,“No, I don’t think it was him. It was everyone. Like, you know, everyone just slammed on the brakes and he was the guy in front of me. So I don’t think he slammed on the brakes. It was, like I said, the concertina effect.”