Daniel Ricciardo has dropped from seventh to 11th in the final Formula 1 French Grand Prix classification after receiving two five-second penalties for overtakes on the last lap.
The Renault driver overtook McLaren’s Lando Norris at the chicane but locked up while doing so, which forced Norris to take evasive action and allowed Kimi Raikkonen to pass both exiting the chicane.
Ricciardo repassed Raikkonen on the run to Signes, but only by overtaking the Alfa Romeo driver by using the runoff area on the inside of the track.
The stewards reviewed the evidence and decided that the two incidents should be considered separately.
In the first, Ricciardo was judged to have “left the circuit and rejoined unsafely forcing another driver off the track”.
In a statement explaining their decision, the stewards said: “Ricciardo started to pass Norris on the outside at Turn 8. At the exit of the corner he distinctly left the track and the stewards determined that he rejoined at an angle that forced Norris off the track to avoid the collision.
“The stewards accepted Ricciardo’s explanation that when he was re-joining the track, he had slowed considerably, going down extra gears and locking up the front left tyre. He also stated that the rumble strips in the turn made the car more difficult to control.
“However, the stewards considered that the sequence of events constituted re-joining the track unsafely, and he subsequently took the position from Norris.”
Ricciardo was also deemed to have “left the track and gained a lasting advantage passing another car” while getting ahead of Raikkonen.
The stewards noted: “Following the incident at Turn 8 with Norris, Raikkonen managed to pass both Norris and Ricciardo.
“Ricciardo, who by then had regained control of his car then chased Raikkonen from Turn 9 and subsequently passed Raikkonen. Raikkonen defended his position on the straight moving slightly to the right.
“However, Raikkonen never put any part of his car off the track and he did not make any move to the right while any part of Ricciardo’s car was alongside, and did not crowd Ricciardo off the track. To make the pass Ricciardo drove off track and then subsequently completed the pass, gaining a lasting advantage.
“The stewards reviewed the case to see if it was a continuation of the previous incident. However, Ricciardo clearly had regained control of the car following his incident with Norris and the pass off track was a separate incident.”
|7||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari|
|10||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda|
Those penalties moved Raikkonen up to seventh, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg – who also got ahead of Norris exiting the chicane – and Norris. Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly inherited the final point in 10th.
Speaking before he visited the stewards, Ricciardo said he had done his best to stay on track while battling Norris.
“I’m sure they’ll watch the onboard, but the thing is, obviously I did all I could to stay on the track, but with this new surface as well, you can see there’s a shiny line which is full of grip, anything off that is literally like marbles,” he said.
“I was trying to do my best to stay on.
“To be honest, for the team I really hope we keep the points, but for my side I’m glad I tried, I have no regrets whatever happens, because it’s the last lap, it’s a position, and it’s never my style to sit back and be the conservative one in battle.”