In a chaotic first corner incident of the Brazilian Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo expressed his gratitude for narrowly avoiding the airborne tyre thrown from Alex Albon’s Williams. The incident, which led to the elimination of both Albon and Kevin Magnussen from the race, left two Australians, Ricciardo included, as unintended casualties in the fray.
Key Takeaways: First-Corner Chaos: The Australian AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo and rookie Oscar Piastri faced a perilous start as Alex Albon’s tyre narrowly missed hitting Ricciardo after a collision involving Albon and Magnussen. Race Repercussions: Both Australians were forced to restart the race from the pitlane, a lap down, due to the extensive damage caused by the incident. Despite this setback, they were grateful to the teams’ efforts, which allowed them to continue racing. Silver Lining Lessons: Oscar Piastri saw the silver lining in the unfortunate event, gaining valuable experience and the chance to experiment with his racing approach due to the additional laps post-repair.
“I saw quite a big crash in front of me, lots of debris, and I felt like I was getting through it,” Ricciardo reflected.
“Then I saw a tyre off the rim, kind of like Frisbeeing through the air and it started getting closer. I remember ducking my head,” he added, relieved that the tyre missed him but frustrated by the damage to his car.
“I didn’t feel anything hit me, so I was happy, but then I checked my mirrors and I saw the rear wing was pretty much off, so I assumed the tyre had hit the wing, which was obviously frustrating.
The iconic race took an unexpected turn right from the get-go with a first corner collision that had serious implications for several drivers, including a pair of Australians caught in the incident. Daniel Ricciardo and rookie Oscar Piastri found themselves in a precarious situation following a tangle between Alex Albon and Kevin Magnussen. Ricciardo, still finding his feet after time away from the driver’s seat, recalled the frightening moment when Albon’s tyre came flying towards him, a moment that could have had far more serious consequences.
“You look back at those things now, and it’s nice it didn’t hit me,” he continued. “It’s funny, but as soon as I realised it didn’t hit me, I looked at the wing, and I was like, ‘Damn it!’
“So my immediate relief was turned into disappointment because I realised the race could be over.
“When you’re in that race mode you don’t even think about it, but now, with hindsight, I’m thankful we all got out of it safe. All these things can always be worse. I’ll leave certainly feeling a little bit thankful for that. I just wish they could have let us be in the race so that one hurts a bit.”
Reflecting further on how close he came to becoming injured, he revealed that his mind quickly turned to the damage to his car.
Oscar Piastri also shared his perspective on the incident, highlighting the inherent risks of starting from less favorable positions. The aftermath of the crash was a red flag, halting the race and providing the teams a chance to repair the cars. Thanks to the mechanics’ swift work, both drivers were able to rejoin the race, albeit a lap down.