Daniel Ricciardo has admitted he was at fault for his tangle with Valtteri Bottas in Mexico, and will apologise to the Mercedes driver.
The two collided at the start when Ricciardo threw his McLaren up the inside at Turn 1, as he looked to make up places. Bottas, who started on pole, had already turned in towards the apex of the corner and was tagged by the Aussie, as the Mercedes was sent spinning.
Both drivers suffered damage in the incident and pitted as a result. They were unable to make much of a recovery in the race, but were locked in a private battle for the majority of the remaining laps.
The McLaren driver got a strong getaway and drew alongside the Red Bull of Sergio Perez at the start, but locked a brake and clipped Bottas, and he admitted things did not go to plan at the start.
What Valtteri is going to see in his sleep tonight… #MexicoGP 🇲🇽 #F1 pic.twitter.com/jRPASKrmCI
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) November 7, 2021
“There was definitely a lot going on,” Ricciardo told Sky F1 in the paddock after the race. “I still haven’t seen a full replay.
“The first few hundred metres down to Turn 1, to be honest, they’re always fun here because there are so many slipstreams, it’s dusty, it’s kind of chaos, but there is some form of fun in the chaos.
“But then, under braking, I remember, I think there was room on the inside with Perez, so there was a gap. And it’s one of those ones where, if you don’t go for a gap, someone else will, and you can easily just get swallowed up.
“So at that time, I think it was, let’s say, a reasonable bit of space to go for. And I think, from memory, it felt fairly under control in the first part of braking, and then as we got closer to the apex, everyone starts to close in and, at the last moment, obviously you try and slow the car up.
“I locked a little bit and, at that moment, obviously Valtteri has come across, so a combination of that and I guess him, and obviously we hit.”
But Ricciardo accepted responsibility for the accident, given his positioning on the track, and added that the remainder of the race became a long slog in his McLaren.
“I apologise to him, again without really seeing it, but I’m the one that went into him,” he said. “So of course, at the very least I’ll say sorry for now, and see if there’s much I could’ve done or if it’s just simply a Turn 1 incident and a bottleneck kind of thing.
“Regardless of that, it was looking good for a few hundred metres, and it turned around pretty quickly.
“So that was the race, and then a long 70 laps after that.”
Ricciardo eventually came home in P12 in Mexico, while Bottas finished 15th, after being brought in by Mercedes to set the fastest lap of the race and prevent Max Verstappen from gaining an extra point.
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