F1 stewards decide punishment stance after Alex Albon and Daniel Ricciardo crash at Japanese Grand Prix

F1 stewards decide punishment stance after Alex Albon and Daniel Ricciardo crash at Japanese Grand Prix

WATCH NOW: Sports roundup as Alex Albon and Daniel Ricciardo crash at Japanese Grand Prix

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 07/04/2024

- 10:14

Updated: 07/04/2024

- 11:25

The two drivers retired early in Suzuka on Sunday after a big crash on the opening lap

Alex Albon and Daniel Ricciardo have escaped any punishment following their crash in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.

The pair collided on the first lap in Suzuka but stewards have declared it a racing 'incident' and cleared them both of wrongdoing.

Albon caught the back right tyre of Ricciardo just before Turn 3, a matter of seconds after the race began.

The collision saw both drivers veer out of control and crash into the tyre wall, with a red flag quickly waved.

Alex Albon and Daniel Ricciardo crash

The race was delayed for half an hour while repairs were made to the tyre wall before it resumed from a standing start.

At the time, Albon said on his team radio: "He just squeezed me, nowhere to go."

Commentators played down the blame on either driver and the stewards have agreed after investigating the incident.

A statement reads: "The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 3 (Daniel Ricciardo), the driver of Car 23 (Alexander Albon), team representatives and reviewed positioning/marshalling system data, external and in-car video evidence.

"The explanations of both drivers were aligned as to the facts of the incident.

"On the approach to Turn 3, the driver of Car 3 noticed Car 18 on his left and stated that he wanted to give that car sufficient room.

"He stated he then looked to the apex of Turn 3. He did not see Car 23 on his right.

"The driver of Car 23 stated that he thought he could overtake Car 3 on the outside, into Turn 3, but then suddenly realised that Car 3 had not seen him, applied the brakes but could not avoid the contact with Car 3.

"Accordingly we determine this to be a first lap incident and decide to take no further action.

"If this incident had occurred on a subsequent lap, or without the presence of the third car (Car 18), a different determination would have been made.

"Competitors are reminded that they have the right to appeal certain decisions of the Stewards, in accordance with Article 15 of the FIA International Sporting Code and Chapter 4 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules, within the applicable time limits.

"Decisions of the Stewards are taken independently of the FIA and are based solely on the relevant regulations, guidelines and evidence presented."


Alex Albon and Daniel Ricciardo

Alex Albon and Daniel Ricciardo crashed out early at the Japanese Grand Prix


Before being sent to the stewards, Ricciardo outlined his verdict on the crash.

The Australian said: "I felt like it was very much under a racing incident scenario.

"I saw Alex's on-board, he just got so much better drive out of Turn 2 and then got onto my right side.

"So to be honest I didn't see Alex and just everyone I guess got bottled up in Turn 3. Not the way obviously you want Sunday to go."

Alex Albon

F1 crash: Alex Albon and Daniel Ricciardo smashed into the tyre wall in Japan

Sky Sports

Albon was not happy after a tough weekend for Williams, with team-mate Logan Sargeant also crashing in practice on Friday.

He said: "It's a shame. It's frustrating and disappointing for the whole team. It's really disappointing.

"We're not in a great position, we haven't had a great year so far. Obviously we've got a lot of damage over the last two weekends and it's not good for us.

"We're going to see what we've got to repair, hopefully the crash isn't so bad for the car itself."

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