Daniel Ricciardo backflips on Mexican GP crash apology

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Pictured here, Daniel Ricciardo's McLaren makes contact with the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas at the Mexican GP.
After watching replays of the lap one incident, Daniel Ricciardo says he doesn't believe he was at fault. Pic: Getty/F1

Daniel Ricciardo has backtracked on his apology to Valtteri Bottas over the Mexican Grand Prix crash that ruined the chances of both drivers at the start of the race.

The Aussie McLaren driver made a typically daring move under brakes at the first corner, with the long run down to the first bend often lending itself to some chaos.

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With the field bunched up at the end of the long straight into turn one, Ricciardo locked his front brakes slightly late as he flew up the inside of the field.

Ricciardo's car collided with the Mercedes of Bottas as they went around turn one, with neither driver able to recover from the first lap accident.

The Aussie, who eventually finished 12th, apologised to Bottas after the race, with the Finn only managing a lowly 15th placed finish.

“There was definitely a lot going on. I still haven’t seen a full replay,” Ricciardo said immediately after the race.

“After braking I remember there was room on the inside with Perez, so there was a gap, and it was one of those ones where if you don’t go for the gap then someone else will and you can easily get swallowed up.

"I locked a little bit and obviously Valtteri has come across, so a combination of that and obviously we hit.

“I apologised to him. I’m not sure without really seeing it but I’m the one who went into him and at the very least say sorry to him now and see if there’s much I could have done of if it’s just a turn one incident bottle-neck type of thing."

However, the Aussie says after reviewing replays of the accident he does not accept blame, insisting it was a just a "first lap incident" that was largely unavoidable.

Daniel Ricciardo says no one really to blame

“I went to the inside of (Red Bull’s Sergio Sergio) Perez and I do remember locking at one point,” Ricciardo said. 

“Replaying it in my head over the next 70 laps, I thought I locked and went up into Valtteri. So I was kind of obviously kicking myself.

“But then looking at the replay, it looked like I locked in the straight-line phase and then actually recovered before turning in. And it looked like there was just not enough room.

“Obviously Valtteri came across, probably expecting to have a bit of clear track, and then there was Perez and me. So I don’t really blame Valtteri, obviously.

“I’m the one that hit him. But honestly, looking at the replay, I just think it’s a first lap incident and a matter of maybe me being optimistic.

“I feel that it’s one of those gaps: if you don’t go for it, someone else will and then you’re going to get the short end of the straw.

Pictured here, the incident involving McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo and Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas at the Mexican GP.
McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo collided with Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas at the first turn of the Mexican GP, ruining both their races. Pictures: Sky Sports/Getty Images

“Obviously I’m disappointed. And I’m still going to be hard on myself and I never want to ruin my race on lap one.

“But let’s say, if it’s possible to feel any better, I feel slightly better after seeing the replay. And it was actually quite a small hit. But we know these cars don’t take much to damage.”

Stewards ultimately ruled in Ricciardo's favour with the McLaren driver not penalised over the incident, despite claims Mercedes were adamant he should have been.

“I have spoken to a couple of the Mercedes engineers and they are livid that Daniel didn’t end up with a penalty,” Sky Sports F1 analyst Karun Chandhok said after the race.

Max Verstappen won the race to stretch his lead over Lewis Hamilton in F1 championship standings.

Verstappen, who started third after struggling in qualifying, now leads Hamilton by 19 points with four races left in the season.

Hamilton finished second and had to fight off Sergio Perez as Verstappen's Red Bull teammate finished third to become the first Mexican driver to reach the podium in the history of the race.

Verstappen earned his ninth win of the season, second in a row and third career victory in Mexico City. The 24-year-old Dutchman is chasing his first career championship.

with AAP

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