Daniel Ricciardo’s nightmare season is coming to a close.
Daniel Ricciardo’s nightmare season is coming to a close.

Ricciardo reacts to cruel F1 controversy

Daniel Ricciardo has responded to being stripped of his points at Suzuka after Renault was disqualified from the Japanese Grand Prix.

Ricciardo and teammate Nico Hulkenberg, who finished sixth and 10th respectively in the October 13 event, were disqualified from the final classification following a Racing Point protest into Renault's brake bias system, which was alleged to give its drivers an advantage.

Although the FIA stated the system - a button mounted on the steering wheel - was not in breach of the technical regulations, they ruled it was still a driver aid and Renault was docked all of its nine points from the race.

Renault criticised the punishment, saying it was "inconsistent with previous sanctions for similar breaches", but won't appeal the verdict.

Ricciardo said it was frustrating to have his hard work amount to nothing but is trying not to get too down about the cruel development.

"Disappointed, yeah, because it was a good Sunday afternoon for us," Ricciardo said, per the official F1 website. "And eight points is pretty big, especially for me this year.

"We've only had a few times we've been in the top six. So frustrating for sure, and disappointed that was the outcome.

"Our back's been up against the wall quite a few times this year, but honestly that just excites me. Of course I'd love the points but we move on."

 

Ricciardo’s work at Suzuka counted for nothing.
Ricciardo’s work at Suzuka counted for nothing.

Before the season Renault said it wanted to be the best performing team outside the Big Three of Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull but that looks unlikely with it sitting fifth in the constructors' championship behind McLaren.

Ricciardo hasn't given up hope completely but admitted it would take a near miracle to squeeze into fourth.

"Not impossible but unrealistic," Ricciardo said when asked if Renault could finish fourth. "That's the truth. McLaren look strong, they've got a good buffer. They have been strong on pretty much every circuit.

"Unless we looked at the next few circuits and said they're not McLaren's type of circuits we'd probably say we still have a chance. I think we can still beat them on some of these tracks, but I don't think we'll be taking a huge amount of points away from them if everything is running smoothly.

"We'll see. We'll try to beat them on track and see what happens in the end. Obviously with the disqualification it puts us more back into fifth and sixth. At the very least we want to consolidate fifth."

Renault's disqualification was another blow for Ricciardo in what's been a hugely disappointing debut season with the French outfit, who he joined after quitting Red Bull at the end of 2018.

The loss of eight points from Japan saw the Aussie star drop down to 12th in the drivers' standings, one place ahead of Hulkenberg, and continued a horror run of results.

In his previous six races before the Japanese GP Ricciardo had retired twice, come 14th three times and picked up points just once when he finished fourth in Italy.

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