Ricciardo suspects clutch issue led to Canadian GP jump start

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Daniel Ricciardo says a suspected clutch issue on his VCARB01 was likely the cause for the jump start noted by the stewards at the launch of the Canadian Grand Prix, and for which the RB driver was hit with a five-second penalty.

This incident marked the first time a driver was penalized under the FIA's recently implemented stricter regulations on jump starts.

When informed of his early launch, Ricciardo was surprised as he felt that he had enjoyed a timely getaway. But a replay showed that his car had indeed crept slightly forward while the lights were still red.

“It was weird because I got told I had a five-second penalty for a jump start, but I know I didn’t jump the lights, so I was a bit confused,” commented the Aussie.

“So I obviously questioned it, but then I remember, I feel like when I was finding the revs for the start, I felt maybe the car was moving.

“So yeah, Pierre [Hamelin – RB race engineer] said obviously we had a bit of an issue, so perhaps a clutch or something. So that obviously was a little bit of a backstep.

“The start itself, we were drift city. I say the start, also just around Turn 1, I remember Lewis just literally breezing by me and I was Tokyo-ing it.”

From fifth on the grid, Ricciardo lost two positions on the opening lap but then dropped to P11 when he assumed his five-second penalty during his first pitstop under the race’s safety car on lap 26.

From there, he recovered to eighth as he benefited from the retirements of Carlos Sainz and Alex Albon in the second half of the race before passing Alpine’s Esteban Ocon four laps from the checkered flag.

“When the rain was coming, we pitted for a new inter and the others stayed out, and we just lost track position there,” Ricciardo noted.

“I felt like the race was kind of getting away from us, but then with the slick at the end, we managed to claw our way back past some cars and get, fortunately, a nice little bag of points.

“So all in all, happy,” he added. “These races, it's hard to be perfect. I made mistakes, obviously, we were just trying to survive at times, so happy we got there in the end.”

Assessing his race weekend in Montreal as a whole, Ricciardo felt that he had performed quite consistently from Friday to Sunday, despite the often-treacherous conditions.

“It's the first weekend I've got well, start to finish,” he explained.

“Obviously Miami, half of it was really good and the other half not so, so it's nice to just be competitive from Friday through Sunday.

“And a race like this, it's so hard, mentally and everything. It is draining.

“You can't expect to do a perfect race when it's like this, but I felt like in all these conditions, we managed to still pull out a result – with a few challenges along the way.”

While satisfied with his efforts, Ricciardo underscored the importance of upholding his momentum in the upcoming rounds.

“I think that little energy, probably a little bit of a chip on my shoulder I brought into the weekend, I've got to make sure that stays there and just keep that level of intensity,” he said.

“I don't know if I need to be a bit angry or just get my testosterone up, but I think it helps me.”

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