Daniel Ricciardo escapes injury after car struck by flying tyre in Brazilian GP

By Sports Desk November 05, 2023

Daniel Ricciardo escaped injury after his car was struck by a flying tyre following a chaotic start to the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The loose carcass hit Ricciardo’s rear wing following a collision between Alex Albon and Nico Hulkenberg moments after the start in Interlagos.

Albon, 13th on the grid, drew alongside Hulkenberg but the two machines made contact, sending the London-born driver into Hulkenberg’s Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen and then into the barrier.

The force of the impact tore the left-rear off Albon’s Williams, with the bouncing tyre, which weighs 11.5 kilograms – roughly 1.5 times the weight of a ten-pin bowling ball – narrowly flying over the top of Ricciardo’s head before smashing into the back of his AlphaTauri.

Footage from Ricciardo’s cockpit shows him turning sharply to the left to avoid the flying rubber.

“I tried to miss it, but the tyre was in the air and it clipped my rear wing,” he said.

The Australian driver, 34, was able to limp back to the pits for the repairs following the fortunate escape, while both Albon and Magnussen emerged unscathed. Hulkenberg was able to carry on before the race was red-flagged.

Max Verstappen was afforded the front row to himself for the beginning of the race after Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc crashed out on the formation lap.

Leclerc blamed a hydraulics failure for the accident. The race was suspended for 25 minutes as the tyre barrier on the approach to the opening bend was repaired following Albon’s shunt.

Lando Norris will line up for the restart in second place following a fine getaway by the British driver from sixth on the grid. Lewis Hamilton made up two places from fifth to third.

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    Verstappen became the first driver this century to start the season with five consecutive pole positions after a crushing performance in qualifying for Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix.

    The Dutchman, 26, saw off Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez by 0.322 seconds at the Shanghai International Circuit to take top spot, after he earlier raced from fourth to first in the 19-lap sprint race.

    Remarkably, since Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the 2021 world championship in Abu Dhabi, the Red Bull driver has won 37 of the 48 races staged, and he is firmly on course to wrap up his fourth title in as many seasons.

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    Verstappen struggled for speed in the early stages of Saturday’s sprint race but he caught, and overtook, Lewis Hamilton on the ninth lap and then pulled out an eye-watering two seconds on the Mercedes driver in just one lap. He took the chequered flag 13 sec clear.

    Fernando Alonso was the closest non-Red Bull finisher to Verstappen in qualifying but the Spaniard was almost half-a-second back.

    Norris, 24, continued: “Am I surprised how far Red Bull is ahead? No. When you know how tricky it is to get it right, then it makes sense. They are just smart people.

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    “Sorry guys,” reported Hamilton over the radio. He finished eight tenths off the pace and half-a-second behind George Russell in the other Mercedes.

    Hamilton last suffered such a lowly grid spot when he crashed out of qualifying in Brazil in 2017.

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