Both Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen have escaped punishment for interlinked incidents during qualifying for the French Grand Prix.
Raikkonen was approaching Turn 11 on a flying lap during Q1 but Ricciardo was on the inside of the track, trying to get out of the way. Raikkonen suffered a big snap of oversteer and ran wide, taking to the run-off area before rejoining toward the corner exit.
As Raikkonen rejoined, Romain Grosjean was following on a timed lap and had to lift off as the Alfa Romeo returned to the track where Grosjean would have ended up. The stewards investigated the incident after the session — analyzing whether Ricciardo impeding Raikkonen and then separately whether Raikkonen held up Grosjean — but opted against taking any further action.
In the Ricciardo case, the stewards stated that both the Renault driver and Raikkonen agreed “that had Ricciardo taken any other line it would probably have affected Raikkonen in any case and both agreed that given the location on the track that the cars approached each other, no other reasonable action could have mitigated the circumstances.”
Grosjean admitted he had already backed off having seen the smoke from Raikkonen going off track as he was expecting a yellow flag, and while Raikkonen stated he tried to rejoin gradually, “both drivers agreed that at this moment he was unlikely to have been able to see Grosjean and would have been well away from Grosjean, had Grosjean continued at full speed.”
In both cases, the stewards deemed that neither Ricciardo nor Raikkonen were guilty of unnecessarily impeding another driver. Ricciardo will start from eighth on the grid as a result and Raikkonen 12th, with Grosjean eliminated in Q1.