Ricciardo: Stewards screwed me out of a good result

AP Photo/Vincent Thian

Daniel Ricciardo joked the Singapore Grand Prix stewards should pay for his flight back to Australia for the controversial penalty which forced him to start from the back of the grid.

Ricciardo qualified eighth on but after the session it was found that his car had a power spike from the MGU-K component in excess of the amount allowed under the regulations. This lasted for 0.000001s -- a micro-second -- during Q1, and wasn't even detected on his quickest lap in that segment of qualifying.

He was excluded from qualifying but given permission to start the race. Ricciardo put on an overtaking show in the opening portion of the race as he forced his way through the field from 20th, but mid-race contact with Antonio Giovinazzi ultimately prevented him from challenging for points. He finished 14th.

Asked if he had been "screwed" out of a good result by the stewards, he said: "Absolutely. If that is something that is happening consistently through the session, I'd understand. If every lap I'm getting a micro second gain, then I'd understand, 'ok eliminate me from the session'.

"But it happened on one occurrence for one milli-second on one lap. And the lap did not affect my qualifying. Delete that lap. We have the track limit rule, if you gain an advantage then that lap is deleted. So it seems very simple to do that.

"I have some strong words for them, but I'll leave that...but I think you know what I feel. They ruined my weekend. A 12-hour flight return, I feel was bit for nothing. So maybe they will pay for my seat on the way home tomorrow."

He later posted to Instagram, with another little message to the stewards for good measure.

Ricciardo admitted that he was able to still enjoy the opening stage of the race. He also felt his clash with Giovinazzi, which saw him bang wheels with the Alfa Romeo driver while attempting an overtake, leaving his Renault with a puncture, was a racing incident.

F1 race director Michael Masi said the rules exist for a reason and that showing any leeway would have created a difficult precedent.

Masi explained: "When it comes to technical infringements, I think Martin Brundle put it best when I bumped into him down on the grid, he said: 'You're either pregnant or you're not.' Those were his words, but it's one of those that when it comes down to a technical infringement of that nature the outcome is that you either are [breaking the rules] or you aren't. While I can feel for Daniel, it was an error and, sadly, it is what it is.

"We would be stepping in dangerous territory, with technical infringements in particular, if we start building margins in upon margins, upon margins. There was a margin there and the margin was exceeded -- the margin that applies to everyone."