I had to pay for Ricciardo’s mistake - Sainz

Andy Hone/Motorsport Images

I had to pay for Ricciardo’s mistake - Sainz

Formula 1

I had to pay for Ricciardo’s mistake - Sainz

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Carlos Sainz says he had to pay for Daniel Ricciardo’s error after contact between the two on the opening lap that saw the Spaniard retire from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Ricciardo had got a better start and was on the inside of Sainz approaching the Tamburello chicane, but the Ferrari driver was able to brake later and was largely ahead round the outside when Ricciardo’s right front touched Sainz’s left rear and tapped him into a spin.

Sainz was beached in the gravel and retired, and says he was totally blameless in the incident despite the stewards opting against an investigation.

“It was a difficult start as you saw but there was still 63 laps left so even if you lose a position to a McLaren like Lando (Norris) there’s still a long race to go, especially in those conditions,” Sainz said. “Unfortunately I think I left plenty of space for Daniel on the inside but he decided to get on the kerb and understeer into me, and that was it for my race. Very unlucky, nothing I could do differently there.

“It’s tough, I’m not happy. It’s tough to go through it, especially in a home race like this with all the Tifosi getting the support from them and wanting to put on a good race for them. It was still a long race ahead and for some reason I was the unlucky guy that had to pay for someone’s mistake.”

Ricciardo was limited to 18th and last on the road after making three pit stops, and apologized to Sainz but says he’d actually been trying not to be too aggressive in the battle.

“Obviously not the way I wanted Sunday to go,” Ricciardo said. “Painful one and obviously not the way I want to affect someone else’s race… Originally I thought I got hit, but I think that was after the fact. I slid up into Carlos, and then once he was around, then I got pushed further but the damage was done.

“From memory, I think I got onto the curb just to try and buy myself a bit more space, because I know at some point it’s going to bottle up, but I think once I got on the curb, I just slid off it and then started to slide up into him.

“I think that’s what happened, now after the fact, and obviously intentions were in a way good, to try and, let’s say, leave some room, but in those conditions obviously I didn’t have the grip I was hopeful for, slid up into him and ruined his race as well. Then we had damage and it was a painful 60 laps.

“For sure it’s frustrating. Competitive or not, it’s never the way you want your Sunday to go. Lap 1 incidents are the worst, especially when you keep going. It’s easier when you finish it on Lap 1, (otherwise) then the rest of the race you’re trying to make something happen, but with damage as well, it’s never really going to come around.

“We’ll try and pick some things up but for now obviously, I’ll go and see Carlos – I’m sure he was in here already, but go and see what I can do now to apologize and just try and move on for Miami.”

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