Ricciardo still surprised by drive-through
15 October 2013 – Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo has said he 'was' and 'is genuinely surprised' that he got a drive-through penalty following his pass on Adrian Sutil during the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend.
Ricciardo made the move on the German at 130R around mid-way through the race, the 15th round in the 2013 FIA Formula 1 World Champiosnhip. However, he ran wide during the manoeuvre, and as he didn't give the position back, it was then investigated by the stewards, who ruled by leaving the confines of the circuit he had gained an unfair advantage.
Despite the fact the rule is quite clear though, the Aussie continued to vent his frustration in his official post-race blog.
“Sometimes the whole weekend revolves around just one decision. I’m fairly sure without collecting a drive-through penalty I’d be leaving Suzuka with a good haul of points and feeling deeply satisfied with our weekend’s work. Instead I’m leaving… well, let’s say unsatisfied,” he wrote.
“I was and am genuinely surprised that the stewards penalised me for the pass on Sutil. When my engineer told me I’d picked up a penalty, it never crossed my mind it was for that. Earlier in the race when I was out-of-sequence on the hard tyre I’d collected a big train of cars behind me so I thought perhaps I’d done something dirty then.
“I thought possibly I’d weaved when I was defending from [Nico] Hülkenberg, or maybe cut him off without noticing. I didn’t think I had but it’s difficult to judge with the mirrors. When I heard what it was actually for… as I say, [I was] surprised.”
Despite only finishing 13th though, the Aussie was still pleased with his performance, especially as he only qualified in P16.
“If you can disregard the eventual result – believe me, right now that’s difficult – I had a really good day,” he continued. “In Korea last week I don’t think I could’ve done a better job and it’s much the same here. I think we maximised the potential of what we had this weekend and I’m very pleased with the way I drove.
“Passing Sutil around the outside at 130R was a brilliant sensation. Maybe that corner doesn’t hold the terrors it once did but trust me, there was definitely clenching going on.
“In fact if the on-board footage emerges you’ll see me having a little fist-pump as soon as I was through the chicane and in the clear. I was really jacked-up. It was cool.
“Shame I got clobbered for it.”