Ricciardo says it’s “crystal clear” Stroll’s last-lap pass broke rules

2020 F1 season

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Daniel Ricciardo says he will raise the matter of Lance Stroll’s last-lap pass on him at tomorrow’s drivers’ meeting.

The Renault driver was forced off the track at the previous race in Austria by Stroll, who also went off in the incident at turn two. Stroll overtook Ricciardo in the process, and the stewards did not investigate whether the move broke the rules.

Ricciardo believes the pass shouldn’t have been allowed to stand.

“I’ve never wanted to have the rules so tight that it discourages us to race,” he said. “I don’t want it that we’re driving on eggshells and scared to pull the trigger.

“But there’s trying and also, I think, failing. I think both of us went off-track. Me because if I turn in, we crash. But he also brought himself off the track with us.

“So he tried a move, which he was completely in his right to do, so I left room – which I guess I shouldn’t have – but he obviously tried and because we both went off I see that as a failed attempt so the positions should have been given back.

“For me that’s pretty crystal clear. I think if he made the corner and squeezed me off, then I accept that and that’s a move. But to get both of us off that’s where it’s like I don’t see how that works in any situation I guess.

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“We’ll talk about it in the drivers’ briefing and see everyone’s opinion. I can’t see any driver saying that’s a clean move like that’s how it’s going to work because it never ends up like that.”

However Ricciardo does not believe Stroll forced him off the circuit deliberately.

“I don’t think it was Lance’s intention to take both of us off,” he said. “I’m sure when he went down the inside he knew it was going to be tight because it was already quite narrow and he came from a fair way back. I don’t think he expected or wanted both of us to go off-track.

“But obviously he kept his foot into it and [thought] if I get a penalty I do and if not I’ll claim the move.”

Ricciardo expects the other drivers will see the incident the same way. “I don’t think it’s something that necessarily you need to do discuss with the drivers like ‘that was a dirty move, what were you thinking?’ It’s more that this needs to be spoken to as a group with us drivers and the stewards together to try and education everyone on what we thing is right and wrong.

“But I don’t expect to see Lance go and do it this weekend and think that he’s going to get away with it all the time. That’s where we need a talk probably on Friday in the drivers’ briefing.”

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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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56 comments on “Ricciardo says it’s “crystal clear” Stroll’s last-lap pass broke rules”

  1. Daniel is absolutely right. In my one and a half decades watching this sport, that has to be possibly the worst stewarding decision I have ever seen. Stroll’s illegal overtake was a clear-cut penalty, yet the incompetent stewards decided not to penalise Stroll.

    1. In my 3 decades watching F1 and many other motorsport series, I’d agree that that was a terrible example of stewarding.

      It was almost like they get so conscious of previous incorrect judgments that they over-compensate.

    2. @ultimateuzair agreed. well, I don’t know if it was the worst stewarding ever but as far as Stroll getting a penalty it did seem like a ‘slam dunk’, as brundle likes to say. 5 second penalty would have been precedented, if that’s a word.

    3. The stewards literally are just taking bribes at this point

      1. You have evidence they’re “literally” taking bribes?

        1. Astroll Martin now even owns Mercedes. What makes you think they can’t own F1?

    4. why would you say the words “one and a hald decade” instead of just “fifteen years”

      1. Yeah that one if the silliest comments I’ve seen in my one score and 36 months watching.

      2. @alfa145 Let’s try and keep the comments polite and focused on the racing.

  2. It’s one of the most baffling stewards decision in years, if not ever. In most cases I can make somewhat of an argument in favor of a stewards decision, but this one I just can’t find any way how their decision makes sense. Stroll made a move, didn’t make the corner, made Daniel lose several on-track positions, it just doesn’t rhyme with the parameters set up over the past few years to rule it a racing incident and leave it at that.

  3. Things in Formula 1 are never crystal clear. They make look totally obvious to plain sight, but once they enter the FIA twilight realm, truly anything is possible, including six impossible things before Bottas has breakfast.

    1. @david-br Agreed. It seems to be getting worse the last few years too. It’s like they just don’t know how to balance between “let them race” and “lets apply the rules”. Which gives us some random application of either of the two.

      1. Cos some fans will moan no matter what they do anyways.

      2. @f1osaurus So you’ve seen the official stewarding decision coin too? It’s always exciting when they flip it to adjudicate.

  4. Earlier in the race Ricciardo tapped Gasly on the rear wheel. Pierre went off track and lost two places and his pace was gone, finally dropping out of the points.

    If Lance deserved a penalty so did Daniel.

    1. @Bart He didn’t go off the track. The tyre-by-tyre tap happened at T1 on the opening lap, and neither of them left the track at that point. I doubt a tap that small could suddenly lead to a pace-drop of that magnitude. It didn’t cause any( exterior) damage after all.

    2. I like Gasly but Gasly’s pace dropped because him and Alpha Tauri went with Hard tyres after the first pitstop and it was a terrible choice all around, only car that tried that btw which is why he was the only one to lose pace considerably

    3. Opening lap and even more so, first corner, incidents usually are looked at differently.

    4. What race were you watching?

      1. @carlosmedrano It’s feasible that he was watching the same race as everyone else, it’s just that the causative chain in his mind is much longer than you might expect. Maybe this is what Bart saw (what everyone else saw is in brackets):
        1) Ricciardo tapped Gasly in T1 on lap 1
        2) Gasly went off track following the tap (if we use an extremely strict definition of ‘going off track’ – you can see in video of the incident that the entirety of his outside tyre is over the rumble strip)
        3) Gasly lost two places (one on the opening lap as Ricciardo passed him, the second on lap 17…)

        1. Guy Stephens
          17th July 2020, 7:16

          I think it was because a third car quickly got in the middle of them (Norris maybe?) making a simple place switch impossible that confused the situation.

          Stroll should have given the place back anyway in my opinion and u was apprised he didn’t, particularly when that this car eventually cleared Stroll, making a simple place switch possible again.

          100% penalty deserved

  5. Wasn’t Ricciardo himself penalized for pushing Norris off the track last year in France? I think Stroll should have been too.

    1. @pironitheprovocateur I think the penalty wasn’t related to that specific move. I believe it was that DR had all 4 wheels off the track when driving past Kimi on the following straight.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        16th July 2020, 23:14

        He got a penalty and penalty points for both actually. Can’t remember specifically. But a total of 3 penalty points.

      2. He received a double penalty, one for each of those moves.

  6. I still keep my view that I was fine with the decision. I didn’t find the failed attempt that bad.

    1. @jerejj What’s a bad attempt in your book? I thought it was a genuinely pathetic overtaking attempt, the opportunity was there, but Stroll locked his brakes so badly and was nowhere near making the corner.

  7. Looking back on DR’s history of pulling off similar passes, there are lots of examples of his brilliance at doing it well and getting away cleanly …. in a Redbull. His attempt last year to do the same in the Renault … not so successful. Sorry I don’t recall which race.
    In this situation were the roles reversed, would DR have made the same move a Lance ..? Darn right he would.
    Given his expertise at “the dive down the inside” move, he likely would have done it better than Lance and have pulled it off, but yes, he would have gone for it.
    If Lance had NOT made the attempt, how much derision would there have been leveled at the Pink Merc for missing an opportunity?
    This is racing, it is what we get up at 4:30 on a Sunday morning to see. Us West Coasters are truly blessed with our time-zone.

    1. Isn’t that what more or less what DR said? Making the attempt is absolutely fine, but Stroll failed the move, taking both off the track, and thus it shouldn’t be allowed to stand.

    2. So you agree with Ric, Stroll was fine to make the attempt. But he failed to pull off a clean pass – forced Ric off and went off himself – pretty much what Ric was penalised for at Paul Ricard last year.

    3. @rekibsn you’re probably thinking of his attempt to pass Kvyat in Baku, where he first ran Kvyat off the road and then proceeded to reverse backwards into Kvyat, damaging both cars and forcing both of them to retire. Ricciardo did later get a grid penalty for the next race but, strictly speaking, he wasn’t penalised for running Kvyat off the circuit – it was for subsequently crashing into Kvyat when he tried to reverse back onto the circuit.

      There was also his rather wild attempt at passing Perez during the Mexican GP, where Ricciardo tried to outbrake Perez and went careering off the circuit at Turn 1 – that was the move where Perez later said he knew that Ricciardo was going to go barrelling off the circuit when he tried it and that it was way too optimistic for the type of car Ricciardo was driving.

  8. Hard to argue with anything DR has said, so it will be interesting if we do get to hear why the stewards considered it a racing incident. Only thing I can think of is that LS didn’t do it deliberately, but still…

    Hope we hear more from Masi on this.

  9. Gotta keep daddy stroll happy

  10. The decision was not correct but it’s done.

    1. That’s my thinking too. If Renault weren’t happy with the decision then they should have appealed it. From the way Daniel spoke it sounds as though Renault didn’t even protest the incident but expected the Stewards to investigate on their own initiative, except that they chose not to do it on their own initiative. So the onus was on Renault to protest, which, from the sounds of it, they chose not to do.

      1. Yeah did they said why they didnt protest it? Or whether they did and stewards still decided the same?

        1. @yaru the stewards did look at the incident, but declared it to be a racing incident – however, it could well be that Renault have taken the decision that it’s better to concentrate their efforts into trying to get Racing Point disqualified, as that could potentially be of a bigger benefit to them.

        2. @yaru I imagine that protesting the stewards’ decision is like arguing with the ref – it might make you feel better, but they won’t change their mind.

  11. We can’t have all those clinical rules of what is allowed and what is not. Next time a pass is disallowed because the driver has dirty fingernails. DR clearly left the door open and should have defended better. This is Formula 1 people not the European Songfestival.

    1. @dutchtreat This makes no sense whatsoever. You would prefer to watch F1 whereby someone can get past another driver by not making the corner and forcing your rival completely off the circuit mid-corner? I wanna see racing in F1 and less interference from stewards, but not for something like this. Why bother trying to cleanly overtake anyone then when you can get a cheap overtaking by basically threatening to crash into them unless they go off-track?

    2. @dutchtreat There are plenty of more robust race series around if you want to watch cars barging down the inside and running themselves out of road. And even in most of them this kind of pass would be frowned upon, because it’s simply a failure of talent on the part of Stroll.

  12. It was crystal clear for me too, I can’t believe they let that move stay. He was never going to make the corner at that speed, and it’s not like he just barely went off the track.

  13. Rosberg-Hamilton, Austria 2016, 10-second penalty to Rosberg for arguably less blatant pushing out

    Enough said.

    1. less blatant?

      come on :))

  14. Stewards suffer from BIBBBD-20 Built In Bias By Billionaire Daddy 2020.

    1. There’s no known cure!

      Until the next billionaire and his heir enter F1

    2. Still less based than most F1 fans though lol

  15. Stroll was gaining an advantage by leaving the track. In the old days Whiting would have had a quiet word with Racing Point to hand the place back.

    It’s easy to dismiss Ric because he is the master of the dive bomb, but Stroll clearly didn’t keep within the circuit during the pass.

    1. @john-h Yep – it’s not like there isn’t precedent for that approach. It’s a mystery why the stewards chose not to follow that precedent.

  16. typical maneuvre that one who dares to try it again, not that is “legal”, can rest asssured to get a penalty.

  17. F1 is full of babies. Boohoo you got passed by a driver in a better car on raceday. So let me sum up

    Reporter ” So LS drove in hard under braking and passed you.”

    DR ” Yes he forced me off the track”

    Reporter “Then LS held the racing line and was setup to maintain the advantage into the next turn”

    DR ” Yes he forced me off the track”

    Reporter ” So your saying you would have done the exact same thing if the rolls were reversed’

    DR ” Yes…but he forced me off the track
    If F1 wants to remove passing then just have a day of qualifying and reward the 10 points that way.

    What a bunch of Kens

    1. Except you can’t hold the racing line when you’re going side by side? When no car is ahead of the other, both cannot take the racing line without causing a collision.

      On top of that, no LS did not hold the racing line through the corner, he outbroke himself and went off and made the overtake off the track, gaining an unfair advantage by going off track and forcing another driver to go off track

    2. @Csm101 Maybe watch the incident in question with at least one eye open before mouthing off – Stroll clearly didn’t “hold the racing line” – he barged down the inside, locked his brakes, and bumbled his way well off the track on corner exit.

  18. According to Appendix L of the racing code, CHAPTER IV – CODE OF DRIVING CONDUCT ON CIRCUITS,
    Part 2. Overtaking, car control and track limits
    a) A car alone on the track may use the full width of the said track, however, as soon as it is caught by a car which is about to lap it the driver must allow the faster driver past at the first possible opportunity.
    If the driver who has been caught does not seem to make full use of the rear-view mirrors, flag marshals will display the waved blue flag to indicate that the faster driver wants to overtake.
    Any driver who appears to ignore the blue flags will be reported to the Stewards.
    b) Overtaking, according to the circumstances, may be carried out on either the right or the left.
    A driver may not deliberately leave the track without justifiable reason.
    More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted.
    Any driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off-line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the approach to the corner.
    However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited. Any driver who appears guilty of any of the above offences will be reported to the Stewards.
    c) Drivers must use the track at all times. For the avoidance of doubt, the white lines defining the track edges are considered to be part of the track but the kerbs are not.
    Should a car leave the track for any reason, and without prejudice to 2(d) below, the driver may rejoin.
    However, this may only be done when it is safe to do so and without gaining any advantage. A driver will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car remains in contact with the track.
    d) Causing a collision, repetition of serious mistakes or the appearance of a lack of control over the car (such as leaving the track) will be reported to the Stewards and may entail the imposition of penalties up to and including the exclusion of any driver concerned.
    e) It is not permitted to drive any car unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers at any time.

  19. Before all of this virus stuff, at the drivers presser last year and years before, I always looked forward to hearing the man say “Dieter Rencken, Racing Lines”. I ALWAYS knew there was going to be a challenging, yet fair question for the drivers and Team Principals. The man is one of my favourite motorsports journos! One of the best in the world!

    Thanks for all the great questions and articles over the years Heir Rencken, it’s been a pleasure and hopefully will continue to be. All the best. 👍🏁
    From 🇨🇦 to 🇩🇪. 🙂

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