Daniel Ricciardo admits he reacted “disgracefully” to the penalty that resulted in his being disqualified from qualifying at the Singapore Grand Prix.
Renault was penalized after the MGU-K in Ricciardo’s car exceeded the MGU-K power limit of 120 kW during the first part of qualifying, resulting in the Australian being excluded from the session. The team measured the time advantage on his first Q1 lap as 0.000001s, and Ricciardo says he reacted “disgracefully” as the penalty cost him eighth on the grid despite the incident occurring on his slowest lap.
“It affected my sleep heavily,” Ricciardo said. “I was frustrated. Just being honest now, it is hard to then switch off because you have so many scenarios running through your head. A lot of anger, and you feel hard done by because I’ve never pissed off anyone there personally. I don’t have a grudge on anyone. I’d think just a bit of common sense would prevail.
“I had a very restless night sleep trying to go through it in my head, why that penalty would be so harsh. For me, it happened on one occurrence on one lap. If it was happening at the same corner every lap throughout the session, I would not complain at all. It’s like track limits, you go off and gain and advantage, delete that lap.
“We didn’t even gain an advantage from this and yet they delete the whole session. I was disgraced by that. I voiced my opinion and I will keep voicing it. They are doing all the great things by letting us race on track and all that, but then what’s the point of not giving penalties on track but then giving a massive penalty for something that’s out of my control?”
Ricciardo climbed through the field in the race before contact with Antonio Giovinazzi led to a puncture that prevented him from scoring points, but he said the important thing is to focus on the positives from Singapore heading into the back-to-back in Sochi.
“We have the opportunity to carry some energy into Russia and look to make amends and be back where we deserve to be,” he said. “After the summer break we’ve looked very strong, and turned the battle for fourth around. A good result in Sochi is possible, we just need to piece together a solid weekend like we have at the last few Grands Prix.”