Formula 1’s Daniel Ricciardo Robbed Following Painful Red Flag Incident At Mexican Grand Prix

But the result could earn his team millions.

Formula 1’s Daniel Ricciardo Robbed Following Painful Red Flag Incident At Mexican Grand Prix

Image: XPB Images

Formula 1’s Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo was back in the points at the Mexico Grand Prix; the first time since returning from a fractured hand injury sustained earlier in the season. But the AlphaTauri driver was ruing an untimely crash that had a detrimental effect on his race, admitting a missed opportunity following the race restart.

As the chequered flag fell on another Red Bull and Max Verstappen victory – his record-breaking 16th win of the 2023 season – attention turned to his former teammate Daniel Ricciardo, whose pace and form was enough to take the AlphaTauri to its first Top 5 finish of the season… and maybe even a podium.

Ricciardo, returning from a hand injury that saw the AlphaTauri driver temporarily give up his seat until he was able to return, was in a comfortable position at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, halfway through the race.

The Mexican Grand Prix came to a standstill as experienced Haas driver Kevin Magnussen suffered a huge crash in Lap 35 heading into Turn 9. The decision was made to deploy a Safety Car to allow track marshals to attend to the repairs of damaged barriers and the removal of debris from the race circuit and a Red Flag was in place.

Fortunately, Magnussen was unharmed from the incident but has been transported to a medical centre for routine checks.

Daniel Ricciardo has his sights on his old Red Bull seat in 2024. Image: Getty

Ahead of the restart, Ricciardo was fighting to maintain a strong position in P5 with his teammate Yuki Tsunoda still in the points in P8.

Momentum was with the AlphaTauris, who would’ve seen the Red Flag as a wasted opportunity, with both drivers falling down the grid after the race resumed; it was a huge opportunity wasted for Daniel Ricciardo, who knew that a Top 5 was possible in Mexico.

“I’m content with the race,” Ricciardo said. “The red flag, it is what it is. Obviously, the main thing is Kevin’s okay, but I think we were in a controlled state – in P5. So, I think definitely without the red flag we would’ve had a good chance of making a Top 5 finish.”

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Without the crash, momentum could’ve seen Ricciardo defend the oncoming Russell in the Mercedes, and even climb the grid ahead of Ferrari. But ultimately, a P7 result for Ricciardo in, arguably, the worst car on the track, is a huge achievement for the returning AlphaTauri driver.

The result lifts his struggling team off the bottom of the Constructors’ into 8th and could have huge financial returns at the end of the season.

Sergio Pérez was forced to retire after contact on the opening lap of the Mexico Grand Prix.

It wasn’t just Ricciardo who would’ve been left wondering, as Sergio Pérez, Red Bull’s Mexican driver, endured a torrid time at his native Grand Prix.

Pérez was forced out of the race during the opening lap after a collision with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in an attempt to take an early lead. Utilising the slipstream created by his teammate, Pérez made contact with his Ferrari rival, damaging the floor and sidepod as he exited the track.

“You have to wonder what this means for Ricciardo. If he keeps this form up, surely he will be behind the wheel of a Red Bull next year.”

Alex Brundle, BBC

The incident provided Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton with an opportunity to close the gap with Pérez in the Drivers’ Standings, potentially inviting unwanted pressure from a pursuing Daniel Ricciardo, who has his sights on his old Red Bull seat in 2024.