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Installation lap damage costly for Ricciardo in Malaysia

Mar 29, 2013, 6:15 PM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia Getty Images

Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that his retirement from last Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix was due to damage caused on the installation lap before the race.

Torrential rain hit the Sepang International Circuit just before the start of the race, and Ricciardo was one of many drivers who had an off whilst making their way to the grid.

“Out of the box I wanted to push hard because I knew we’d be starting on the inter tires and I wanted to get a good feel for it in the conditions,” Ricciardo explained. “I came into the corner, started to aquaplane and had that ‘aw crikey’ moment as I slid toward the gravel.

“I had a look and the floor was pretty badly damaged. The mechanics did what they could to fix it on the grid but there was only so much they could do in the short amount of time available.”

The damage didn’t seem to hinder Ricciardo too greatly off the start, and he challenged in the points for the majority of the race.

“The start itself was fine. I managed to gain a couple of positions on the first lap and I think I got in front of both Lotuses. They are quicker than us but I managed to keep them behind.

“But we were getting killed in the high-speed corners with a lot of understeer because of the damage.”

Eventually, Ricciardo retired from the race, and the Australian driver was angry to have suffered the damage in such circumstances.

“That’s how it goes sometimes but I was pretty angry nonetheless.”

Toro Rosso have shown good pace so far this season, with Jean-Eric Vergne scoring the team’s first point in Malaysia, and Ricciardo will be keen to see an upturn in fortunes so he can score his first points of the season at the next race in China.

  1. apexassassin - Mar 30, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    It’s still early yet, but I don’t see either Toro driver earning a promotion to IRBR. Just more excuses.

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