Daniel Ricciardo escaped injury after his car was struck by a flying tyre following a chaotic start to the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The loose carcass hit Ricciardo’s rear wing following a collision between Alex Albon and Nico Hulkenberg moments after the start in Interlagos.
Albon, 13th on the grid, drew alongside Hulkenberg but the two machines made contact, sending the London-born driver into Hulkenberg’s Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen and then into the barrier.
The force of the impact tore the left-rear off Albon’s Williams, with the bouncing tyre, which weighs 11.5 kilograms – roughly 1.5 times the weight of a ten-pin bowling ball – narrowly flying over the top of Ricciardo’s head before smashing into the back of his AlphaTauri.
red flag 🚩
— Scuderia AlphaTauri (@AlphaTauriF1) November 5, 2023
Footage from Ricciardo’s cockpit shows him turning sharply to the left to avoid the flying rubber.
“I tried to miss it, but the tyre was in the air and it clipped my rear wing,” he said.
The Australian driver, 34, was able to limp back to the pits for the repairs following the fortunate escape, while both Albon and Magnussen emerged unscathed. Hulkenberg was able to carry on before the race was red-flagged.
LAP 4/71: For the second time…
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 5, 2023
Max Verstappen was afforded the front row to himself for the beginning of the race after Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc crashed out on the formation lap.
Leclerc blamed a hydraulics failure for the accident. The race was suspended for 25 minutes as the tyre barrier on the approach to the opening bend was repaired following Albon’s shunt.
Lando Norris will line up for the restart in second place following a fine getaway by the British driver from sixth on the grid. Lewis Hamilton made up two places from fifth to third.