Daniel Ricciardo, Alexander Albon relay about their unfortunate coming together on Lap 1 of F1 Japanese GP amid struggles for both.

When things are not going your way, nothing goes. Amid struggles for both Visa Cash App RB’s Ricciardo and Williams’ Albon, they came together on Lap 1 of F1 Japanese GP which ended their grand prix causing a red flag immediately.

Ricciardo on the medium compound had a slow start, while Albon on the soft tyre had a better one and tried a move on the Australian in the lead-up to Turn 3. The Thai was on the outside, while the Australian had Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll on the inside.

He saw Stroll and tried to move away and was unaware of Albon. The Thai saw that Ricciardo hasn’t seen him but before he could brake, they made contact which sent both onto the barrier. The stewards, though, have noted it to be a racing incident.

It was the last thing that Williams wanted to see. Already down on chassis and with no chance to have a spare one until Miami, Williams now have another chassis to repair which will kill their time ahead of the F1 Chinese GP. It was already on Albon’s mind.

Here’s what Ricciardo and Albon said –

What happened –

Ricciardo: “We definitely got gobbled up on that medium. It was weird because the cars in front of us look like they got off the line well, so it just looked like Yuki and I didn’t have the grip that we anticipated. As soon as we launched, I could see Bottas and Hulkenberg just split us and go around. And then into Turn 1, I was in the middle, with Yuki and an Alpine, so then by Turn 2, I thought ‘alright, let’s just settle’ – and as soon as I got on the throttle, I was still struggling, then I think Stroll was on my outside. I was trying to hold him off. As I’ve started to come back for Turn 3, then Albon’s there. I watched his on board. I don’t even know if he wanted to be there.

“But his traction was so much better on the soft that he was like, ‘Well, there’s space,’ – until there wasn’t. I didn’t see him. Honestly, I always assume maybe someone is there, it’s lap one, so I never tried to use the full width of the track and be completely ignorant. But I guess there was obviously not enough room. All things considered, if we could wind back the clock an hour, I would start on the soft. But for the record, I wanted to be on the medium. And that’s not something I fought against. But knowing what we know now the soft would have been a lot better for us.”

Albon: “Obviously from softs to mediums, I had a grip advantage, kind of surprised with the grip I had out of Turn 2, and was able to pull underneath him and have a good run into 3. More about just trying to get him a little bit off line at Turn 3 and try and find a way for 4, 5, 6, 7 – to see if I could upset his line a little bit. Obviously just one of those things. He didn’t see me, clearly. I tried to back out of it last minute. There was a moment where I realised he hadn’t seen me here, the way he’s pulling across, so I hit the brakes and tried to get out of it. But I was almost too far alongside him and he still was coming across, I couldn’t avoid it. It’s no secret that we are having a tough time with it at the moment with the parts we’ve got. This is going to hurt us for sure.”

Q3 miss played, how much crash upsets –

Ricciardo: “It is. I think also yesterday, I was obviously frustrated not to not to make it by half a 10th. But there were some positives, there were some things that we felt like we could probably show today. And Lap 1 incidents, they’re the worst because there’s always those questions, ‘Oh, what could have been, maybe we could have done this’. So yeah, shame for not only us as a team, but Alex, and you never want to see someone go out on Lap 1. I think today is a singular moment, I guess in terms of… I don’t look at today and think, ‘Oh man this year, like when it rains, it pours or whatever’.

“I feel it was just one of those things. We know that 24 races, it’s probably likely that maybe I’m involved in another Lap 1 incident. It’s just probability in that. So these things kind of happen. It obviously sucks when they do but I don’t look at it any more than today being a kind of singular incident. Of course, would have been nice to get a race under our belt and try to show a little bit of something that I felt we were starting to show yesterday. But yeah, we’ll do that in China. I actually test on Tuesday. So the laps that I missed today I’ll get back on Tuesday.”

Worry due lack of chassis and parts –

Albon: “Honestly, the impact itself was relatively low speed, but it’s the way that I hit the tyre wall. Normally, we have these kind of plastic barriers, the Armco. But this was much more dug in, and it really stops very violently. They’re the questions I’m worried about, not for me, for the car, because that’s where you can do damage. Yeah, we haven’t had the car back yet. It needs to assess it. Hopefully, it’s okay. I thought about the damage, immediately. Before I even hit the wall. It’s exactly what we don’t need.

“We need to asses it and try and come back strong in China. I haven’t spoke to James since the crash. He’s been on the pit wall. But yeah, we know the extent, it’s not something to hide. We’re not hiding from it, it is just a lot of a lot of time and effort to, to repair, rather than to develop and then focus on the upgrades. So yeah, it will pay its toll later on into the season. But yeah, it’s heads down and focus forwards.”

Here’s the crash: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2024-japanese-grand-prix-ricciardo-and-albon-crash-on-lap-1-to-bring-out-the-red-flags-at-suzuka.1795653404923376109.html


Here’s how F1 Japanese GP panned out

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