Japanese Grand Prix halted after two drivers crash on opening lap as F1 investigation to begin

Japanese Grand Prix halted after two drivers crash on opening lap as F1 investigation to begin

WATCH NOW: Sports round up as Japanese Grand Prix halted after big crash

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 07/04/2024

- 07:34

Updated: 07/04/2024

- 07:44

The red flag was waved after the early incident in Sunday's race

The Japanese Grand Prix was halted for 30 minutes after a crash on the opening lap involving Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon.

The race resumed from a standing start after repairs were made to the tyre wall just before Turn 3 at the Suzuka circuit.

Williams had a terrible start to the weekend when Logan Sargeant had a big crash in the first practice session on Friday.

And their other driver, Albon, was forced out of the race after a matter of seconds on Sunday.

Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon

Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon were involved in a big crash at the Japanese Grand Prix


The Thai-British star started the race in 14th position, with RB's Ricciardo in 11th.

As Ricciardo was about to go into Turn 3, Albon just caught him from behind with the smallest of contacts.

It was enough to send both drivers spiralling into the wall to raise concerns over their wellbeing.

They were both able to walk free from their cars after the red flag was almost immediately waved and the race paused.

Rival drivers took to their radios to ask if Ricciardo and Albon were okay after the collision.

The race didn't resume until 6.32am UK time after initially starting at 6am.

F1 stewards have confirmed an investigation will take place after the race.

Albon was seemingly laying blame at Ricciardo's door, saying on his radio: "He just squeezed me, nowhere to go."

Sky Sports commentator Anthony Davidson said neither driver was at fault for the incident.

He said: "I think Ricciardo reacts to Stroll on his lefthand side. That's unfortunate. It wasn't Albon's fault and it wasn't Ricciardo's.

"Ricciardo is going for the racing line and three into one doesn't really go. It's a racing incident and wrong place, wrong time for Albon."

British racing driver Alice Powell was commentating on the race for BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra.

She understood Albon's complaints that he had nowhere to go but said Ricciardo did nothing wrong.

Powell said: "That's a big hit into the tyres, out of the car is Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon was blocked by advertising boards trying to get out of the car there.

"A lot of the drivers had to stamp on the brakes, the tyre temperatures are not fully up to speed and when you are having to lift with that amount of load it can unsettle the car quite a lot.


Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon

Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon crashed out on the first lap at the Japanese Grand Prix

Sky Sports

"I agree with Albon he was squeezed but I don't think Ricciardo had any intention of doing that on purpose I genuinely don't think he actually saw him.

"Daniel Ricciardo looked left as he was approaching Turn Three so he checked his left mirror, but he doesn't check his right mirror.

"Sometimes you don't have to turn your head, you can just use your eyes but he made an effort to turn his head to look in his left mirror but didn't appear to make any effort to look in his right. I think he just assumed there was no car there."

F1 pit-lane reporter Jennie Gow said it was the last thing Williams needed after Sargeant's crash on Friday.

She said: "I think you couldn't ask for two teams who didn't need that crash more.

Alex Albon

Alex Albon's early exit compounded a difficult weekend for Williams at the Japanese Grand Prix

Sky Sports

"I don't know what they (Williams) are going to do, until they've got that car back and can have a good look they don't won't know the extent of the damage that is done to the chassis.

"They don't have another one, they won't have another one ready for the next race in China in two weeks, they will have it ready for Miami if they can get it back on track.

"But if all the resources are going into fixing the other chassis now, Sargeant was running the old one, this is the newer one and that is really difficult for the team."

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