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Ricciardo ducked in cockpit to avoid “frisbeeing” F1 tyre

AlphaTauri Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo remembers “ducking” in the cockpit to avoid the “frisbeeing” tyre ripped off in the huge first-corner shunt in the 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23, crashes out at the start after contact with Alex Albon, Williams FW45

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23, crashes out at the start after contact with Alex Albon, Williams FW45

Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

The 71-lap race had to be red flagged after Nico Hulkenberg and Alex Albon touched on the run to Turn 1, which flicked the Williams across the track to wipe out the second Haas of Kevin Magnussen.

In the melee, Albon’s rear tyre delaminated and the rubber carcass was collected by Hulkenberg before it was flicked up into the path of Ricciardo. It eventually clipped the rear wing of his AT04.

Asked by Autosport to recall his efforts to pick a route through the debris, Ricciardo said he remembered “ducking” in the car: “Obviously, I saw quite a big crash in front of me so there was lots of debris.

“I felt like I was getting through it and then I saw a tyre off the rim frisbeeing through the air and it started getting closer. So, I remember kind of also ducking my head and I didn't feel anything hit me.

“I was happy. But then I checked my mirrors and I saw the rear wing was pretty much off, so I assume then the tyre hit the wing.

“That was obviously frustrating. Now you look back at those things and it's nice that it didn't hit me.”

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri

AlphaTauri originally called Ricciardo, who started 17th, into the garage to retire the car but the red flag allowed the team to repair the rear wing in the garage.

But because the car had been withdrawn from the live pit lane, Ricciardo was counted as being a lap down when he rejoined the race from the pit lane exit rather than taking the standing restart.

Asked whether he felt lucky given the near-miss, Ricciardo said any initial relief was soon overpowered by frustration. It was only later that he was “thankful” to emerge unscathed.

The eight-time grand prix winner toiled at the back of the pack with Oscar Piastri for the duration on his way to classifying 13th in a race where six cars failed to finish.

Ricciardo continued: “It's funny, as soon as I realised it didn't hit me, then I looked at the wing and I was like, ‘Dammit!’

“So, my immediate relief was turned into disappointment because I realised the race could be over.

“It's funny, I think when you're in that race mode, you kind of don't even think about it.

“But now with hindsight, obviously I'm thankful that we all got out of it safe. All these things can always be worse. I'll leave feeling certainly a little bit thankful for that.”

Additional reporting by Isa Fernandes

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