Drive-through penalty ruined my race - Ricciardo

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Japan, Circuit Suzukajp

Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo was less than happy with his penalty for going off track after a pass as that effectively ruined his chance for points. Jean-Eric Vergne finished just ahead of his team mate at the end of the race.

Jean-Eric Vergne, STR8-03, 12th: “There are some positive elements from today, because the car worked very well in this afternoon, However, our pit stops were not the best and cost us some time. After the start I found myself in traffic, so the team decided to call me in a bit early for the switch from the Option to the Prime, but the pit stop was slow and just put me back in the traffic. It was hard to overtake, so we tried lengthening the next two stints and the remaining pit stops were not the best. Apart from that, my pace seemed reasonable, so it’s a shame, as I think I could have done better, especially as I had a lot of new tyres for the race. I really hope I have a bit more luck and another good car in India.”

Daniel Ricciardo, STR8-01, 13th: “I am disappointed not to have scored some points today, because I am convinced I was heading for the top ten, which would have been an encouraging result, after struggling with the balance of the car on Saturday. We started on the Hard tyre and after I made a good start to move up two places, it was looking good as I passed Bottas on the track and moved up the order as those on the Medium pitted ahead of me. I was moving up the order again after my first stop and then I made a move on the outside of Sutil at the 130R and got past him. But after that, I ran wide onto the grass, which lost me a bit of time. Sadly, the Stewards decided I had gained an advantage by going off the track and had to take a drive-through penalty, which of course ruined my race. I was ninth when I came in for the penalty and it dropped me down outside the points.”

Ricciardo was also quoted immediately after the race as saying about the penalty: "before I go off and kill someone, was it for the pass at turn 15?".

Franz Tost, Team Principal: “First of all, the mechanics need to be commended for doing a good job in rebuilding Jev’s car after the fire yesterday. We were reasonably flexible regarding our strategy for today, looking at a three stop for Jean-Eric, as he had plenty of new tyres, so it seemed like a sensible choice, while with Daniel we were looking at a two stopper. As often happens at Suzuka, Jev got stuck in traffic after the start, so we brought him in early, but a long stop put him back in the same place. After that he drove very well in the middle of the race, overtaking other cars. Daniel had a clearer start, moving up two places right away and kept out of traffic. Then, well after he passed Sutil, he ran wide onto the gravel, losing time. However, the Stewards decided he had gained an advantage. He therefore had to come in for the drive-through penalty, that cost him a top ten finish.”