More Williams embarrassment, more pressure on Ricciardo

More Williams embarrassment, more pressure on Ricciardo

More Williams embarrassment, more pressure on Ricciardo

Williams driver Alex Albon and RB’s Daniel Ricciardo crashed out of the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix early on Sunday after a coming together on the first lap.

Albon clipped Ricciardo’s rear wheel at turn two of the Suzuka circuit in what appeared to be a racing incident, with the cars ploughing into the tyre wall, leading to a red flag. Both drivers walked away from the crash.

“He just squeezed me, there was nowhere to go,” Albon said on the team radio before pulling himself out from underneath the tyres and signage that collapsed over the front of the car.

Speaking later in Williams; race report, Albon added: “I didn’t have a great start but being on the Hard tyres, I had good traction coming up into Turn 2.

“I don’t think Daniel [Ricciardo] saw me and it was a bit of a pinching moment… I tried to back out of it but I couldn’t quite get out of the way quick enough. It’s a tough one to take, so all in all a very frustrating and disappointing weekend.

“It wasn’t a big crash but the way I hit the tyre wall, the car gripped and went under it, and I came to a hard stop really fast and aggressively, so that won’t help with the damage to the car,” Albon explained.

Albon and Ricciardo met with the stewards after the race, with Ricciardo explaining that he “noticed Car 18 [Lance Stroll] on his left and stated that he wanted to give that car sufficient room”.

The Australian then added that he “he then looked to the apex of Turn 3” and “did not see Car 23 [Albon] on his right.

The stewards judged the accident as a racing incident and did not hand out any penalties to any of the two drivers involved.

The wreck is another headache for Williams, who remain without a spare chassis for the next race in China, and also for Ricciardo with the Australian under pressure having underperformed his less experienced team mate Yuki Tsunoda this season. (Reporting by John Geddie, writing by Aadi Nair, Additional reporting by GrandPrix247)