Daniel Ricciardo believes receiving two penalties for separate off track incidents on the final lap of the French Grand Prix was ‘too harsh’.
The Australian was bumped from the points in the final results after a skirmish at the chicane in the middle of the Mistral Straight which saw him twice leave the track.
In the first instance the Australian ran long when trying to out-brake the ailing Lando Norris, leaving the track and rejoining such that it forced Norris to leave the track.
The second quickly followed when the Renault driver moved to the inside of Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo, putting all four wheels over the white line as he began his pass.
Both excursions were referred to the stewards who punished each with five second penalties, making for a total of 10 seconds added to Ricciardo’s race time.
“I certainly feel two was harsh,” Ricciardo said in Austria ahead of this weekend’s race at the Red Bull Ring.
“I get one, and get why they needed to do one because otherwise it is like, he is off track and everyone is going to complain, what are the rules for?
“Whether I feel it enlightened the race or not, I think the one was slightly inevitable if I am really honest.
“But two, I just thought to drop me out of the points I thought it was too harsh. With the one I would have dropped already to 10th, so give me one point for trying!
“I’ve nothing against (Pierre) Gasly at all, but he wasn’t in our battle at all, and he kind of steals the point. I didn’t think that justified it.
“But it is all good. I got over it pretty quickly.”
Ricciardo feels the two incidents should have been considered as one, since the duel with Raikkonen was borne out of the off-track moment he had while battling Norris.
“I know that I was off track so at some point I could not really argue with that,” he reasoned.
“So, I would treat it as one incident and not two separate ones.
“And the Lando one is the one I don’t necessarily agree with because I think, if anything, it kind of slowed us all down and I don’t think I gained an advantage with what I did with Lando.”
The Australian suggests the design of the track in Paul Ricard doesn’t help, with no grass verges deliniating the track.
Instead the entire surface has been paved, with painted lines marking the edge of the racing surface from the run off area.
“The track doesn’t help,” Ricciardo conceded.
“Put gravel there, put something there and it automatically stops us – and it does stop us.
“I still think I would try if there was gravel there, but maybe it does already create the penalty for us, without them being handed out after the race.
“That is why I am not really a fan of the big open tracks.”
Formula 1 moves on to the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend, with opening practice set to commence at 1900 AEST.