Daniel Ricciardo believes the stewards were too harsh by giving him two penalties in the French Grand Prix that dropped him out of the points.
A battle with Lando Norris on the final lap led to Ricciardo being given a five-second time penalty for forcing another driver off track when he rejoined at the chicane, while he was then given a further five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage when fighting with Kimi Raikkonen immediately after. Ricciardo was vocal on Twitter about the penalties on Sunday night and says the fact he was demoted out of the points felt like too big a punishment, given his driving.
“We were driving back to Monaco, so I was in the back of the car and had two and a half hours to think about it,” Ricciardo said. “So I was bored as well. I certainly feel two was harsh. I get why they needed to do one because otherwise it is like, ‘Well, he is off track so everyone is going to complain what are the rules for?’
“Whether I feel it in light of the race or not, the one was slightly inevitable, if I am really honest. Two I just thought … to drop me out of the points was too harsh. With the one I would have already dropped to 10th. Give me one point for trying!
“Nothing against (Pierre) Gasly but he was not in our battle at all, and he kind of steals the points. It is like, I didn’t think that justified it but, it’s all good… I got over it pretty quickly.”
With the way drivers are penalized coming under scrutiny following the Sebastian Vettel penalty in Canada, Ricciardo admits he understood he broke the rules with his move on Raikkonen but highlighted the Norris one as questionable.
“I know that I was off track so again, at some point I really could not argue with that. I would treat it as one incident, not two separate ones. The Lando one is the one I don’t necessarily agree with. Because if anything it slowed us down. I don’t think I gained an advantage (by) what I did with Lando.
“The Kimi one you could say sure I went off the track to make a move. But with Lando I don’t think it was like that. If I was in Kimi’s position or if I got passed off the track, then I’d say, ‘Hey what is going on?’ I just don’t know why it was treated as two separate incidents. That is all. The rules have to be there, but…”
Ricciardo believes the track layout at Paul Ricard is partly to blame for producing controversial penalties, saying the circuit itself should be more punishing.
“The problem is, they (Renault) are going to hate me for saying this! The track does not help. Put gravel, something, there and it automatically stops us. I think I’d still try if there was gravel there. But it does already create the penalty for us, as opposed to then being handed it after the race. That is why I am not really a fan of the big open tracks.”