Home Australia Daniel Ricciardo out on first lap in Japan as F1 halts racing after two-car crash

Daniel Ricciardo out on first lap in Japan as F1 halts racing after two-car crash

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An F1 car in a gravel trap, after hitting barriers, with the driver outside the car

Max Verstappen has overcome the disappointment of an early retirement in Melbourne to dominate the Japanese Grand Prix.

The triple world champion comfortably withstood a race restart and different tire strategies to beat teammate Sergio Pérez into second and Carlos Sainz into third.

The victory is Verstappen’s third in the first four races of the season, with his retirement at Albert Park the only blemish on his year so far.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo did not make it past the first lap, colliding with the Williams of Alex Albon, which ended both races and caused the red flag that suspended the race.

His compatriot Oscar Piastri finished eighth, making a late mistake on the penultimate lap that cost him seventh place.

Verstappen was impeccable in Japan and achieved his third consecutive victory in Suzuka.

“It was a very nice race,” Verstappen told his team over the radio.

“To be honest, the car got better and better throughout the race. Well done, very good result.”

The Dutchman got off the line well and maintained the lead over Pérez into the first corner, when the red flag was blown due to a collision between Ricciardo and Albon.

The red flag essentially meant the drivers had a 50-lap race from the restart, where Verstappen again launched well to lead teammate Perez into the first corner.

Seven of the top 10 chose to stay on the same tires they started the race on.

Mercedes opted to switch to new hard tires for both drivers, meaning they had used two different compounds and expected to complete one less pit stop than their rivals. Carlos Sainz opted for new means in an effort to challenge the Red Bulls and Lando Norris.

Mercedes couldn’t make the single stop work and had to stop both drivers at the end of the race, as those who committed to stopping twice proved to be the quicker strategy.

Verstappen and Perez never looked threatened for first and second place, while Carlos Sainz continued his excellent form to finish third.

Charles Leclerc was the only driver to make a pit stop work, extending his stint on medium tires and allowing him to move up to fourth place.

Ricciardo and Albon crash and stop the Japanese Grand Prix on the first lap

Daniel Ricciardo’s Japanese Grand Prix lasted three corners on Sunday, before ending abruptly in a crash on the first lap that brought out the red flag.

The Australian was going through the first chicane around Suzuka, alongside Williams driver Alex Albon.

[pic: crash]

Daniel Ricciardo’s Japanese Grand Prix ended on the first lap after a crash with Williams driver Alex Albon.(F1)

The pair made contact as they approached the third turn of the race, causing them to go off the track and crash into the barriers.

Ricciardo appeared to move slightly on Albon’s front wing in an effort to get on the racing line.

The Australian would not have been able to see Albon with his right rear tire.

Former driver and broadcaster Paul di Resta told Sky Sports UK that he did not believe it was an incident in which either driver could be blamed.

“It wasn’t Albon’s fault. It wasn’t Ricciardo’s fault. It’s a racing incident,” di Resta said.

The red flag appeared after the accident between two cars, which damaged the tire barrier in turn three.

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