Daniel Ricciardo handed Miami grid penalty for safety car violation

Daniel Ricciardo handed Miami grid penalty for safety car violation

Daniel Ricciardo’s difficult weekend at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix has been dealt a further blow after he was handed a three-grid place penalty for the upcoming Miami GP.

RB driver Daniel Ricciardo was slapped with a three-place grid penalty for the next race after overtaking Nico Hulkenberg under the Safety Car during today’s Chinese Grand Prix.

The Australian received the penalty after it was determined that he had gotten past the Haas driver on lap 28 at the Shanghai International Circuit while there was a safety car in place.

Ricciardo has also been handed two penalty points for his role in the incident despite sustaining severe damage to his car after Lance Stroll crashed into him during the last safety car restart, eventually forcing him to retire from the race.

Hulkenberg had overtaken Ricciardo under the safety car at the restart when the Australian driver was pushed wide by Aston Martin driver Stroll, allowing the German driver to continue his race without any sanction.

Ricciardo proceeded to reclaim his position under the subsequent safety car, which was deployed to clear up the ensuing debris, assuming he was allowed to take back the position he had lost under the red flag. However, a stewards report into the incident indicated he was not entitled to do so.

The incident was not broadcast during the race, but the stewards reviewed multiple sources of evidence including positioning data, video footage, timing data, team radio communications, and in-car video.

Ricciardo admitted to the overtaking manoeuvre and argued that it was in response to a previous incident where Hulkenberg had overtaken him under similar conditions. The stewards noted that Hulkenberg’s earlier manoeuvre was allowed under Article 55.8 of the racing regulations, which Ricciardo’s action was not.

Initially, the stewards issued a 10-second time penalty to Ricciardo. However, due to his retirement from the race before the penalty could be served, it was converted into a three-grid place penalty for his next race appearance.

The report read: “The driver of Car 3 admitted that he overtook Car 27 deliberately but he explained that he felt that he could do so because Car 27 had overtaken him under safety car on Lap 28. We note that Car 27 was permitted to overtake Car 3 on Lap 28 because of Article 55.8.

“There was no justifiable basis for Car 3 to overtake Car 27 while the race was under Safety Car conditions.

“We accordingly imposed a 10 second time penalty on Car 3. As Car 3 was unable to serve the penalty due to retirement, we imposed a 3-grid place penalty to Car 3 for the next race in which the driver participates.

“Competitors are reminded that they have the right to appeal certain decisions of the Stewards, in accordance with Article 15 of the FIA International Sporting Code and Chapter 4 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules, within the applicable time limits.”

Ricciardo’s penalty will apply to his starting position on the grid for the Miami Grand Prix, not the sprint race before it as sprint races are referred to as “sprint sessions” and not “races” in the regulations.

Ricciardo’s sanction is applied differently to that of Fernando Alonso, who also received a 10-second time penalty in yesterday’s sprint race before retiring, but was not given a grid drop instead.

In their reasoning the stewards said the language governing how these penalties are imposed during sprint races “is somewhat unclear” and advised the FIA to amend the regulations.

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