Daniel Ricciardo has been cleared over a multiple-car crash in the opening lap of the British Grand Prix, but he still left Silverstone disappointed after an electrical problem forced him to retire.
After qualifying 10th for Sunday’s race, Ricciardo made a weak start before losing power to his Renault engine.
Despite attempts to fix the issue, the Australian Red Bull driver was forced to bow out on lap 22.
It was an eventful day for the 26-year-old from Perth, who was called into the stewards office after his contact with Lotus driver Romain Grosjean sparked a crash at Turn 3, sending the Frenchman into his teammate Pastor Maldonado and forcing the duo out of the race.
In a domino effect, the race was also over for McLaren’s Jenson Button after he was hit by teammate Fernando Alonso as the Spaniard swerved to avoid the Lotus pair.
Grosjean blamed Ricciardo for the incident.
“Daniel must have thought his brakes and tyres would be able to slow him better than they did and the result was the end of both my and Pastor’s race,” he said. But the stewards panel ruled deemed no further action would be taken.
“After hearing from all the drivers involved in the Turn 3 incident at the start of the race, it was decided that no driver was wholly or predominately to blame,” they said in a statement.
It represented only a small silver lining for Ricciardo, who will attempt to rebuild his optimism yet again for the next Formula One event in Hungary.
“I was really optimistic and excited for this weekend, but it didn’t work out for us on the day,” he said afterwards.
“We suffered an electrical problem which forced us to retire.
“I could feel the loss of power going into turn seven. We tried circulating for a few laps to try and fix it, we also tried to reboot the engine in the pits but unfortunately it didn’t work.”
Ricciardo has endured a string of frustrations this season after copping penalties for exceeding his engine allocation and Red Bull’s lack of meaningful results. “The last few races haven’t been kind to us, but that’s racing,” he said.
“We have some time off to look forward to and we’ll go into Hungary a little more hopeful as the track there should suit us better.”
French manufacturer Renault said it would investigate the cause of the failure.
The Hungarian Grand Prix will take place in Budapest on July 26.