F1 stewards have chosen not to sanction Daniel Ricciardo following an incident with rising star Mick Schumacher on a turbulent first day at the Miami Grand Prix.
The Australian was accused of testing the brakes of the F1 legend’s son Michael, which involves slamming the brakes hard, leading into turns 16 and 17 in the opening practice session.
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FIA stewards announced the incident was under investigation, with the Haas team puzzled by Ricciardo’s behaviour.
Schumacher was heard on his team radio saying, “What’s going on?”
FIA officials announced at the end of the session: “The driver and team representative are required to report to the Stewards at 4:30 p.m. (local time) regarding the incident below.
“Driver #3 Daniel Ricciardo – incident between cars 3 and 7 at turns 16 and 17 at 2:37 p.m. Alleged breach of Article 33.4 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations”.
The rule was about slow driving.
The rule states: “At no time may a car be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be considered potentially dangerous to other drivers or anyone else.”
The Aussie finished the session tenth and was later cleared of the brake testing allegations.
The decision comes amid an uncertain future for the Australian, with speculation Ricciardo could lose his place on the grid before his contract expires at the end of 2023 as McLaren looks to the future.
American IndyCar star Colton Herta has been named as a potential replacement.
The 22-year-old is a development driver at McLaren and as part of his contract, Herta is expected to test the MCL35M this year.
Formula 1 championship leader Charles Leclerc paced opening practice for the inaugural Miami Grand Prix and Mercedes showed hopeful improvement as George Russell was quicker than both Red Bull cars.
Leclerc covered the 19-turn, 3.36-mile (5.41-kilometre) circuit in 1 minute, 31:098 seconds in his Ferrari on the first of two looks at the specially designed course around Hard Rock Stadium. Russell was second quickest for Mercedes, which has been slow to start this season with its new car.
Reigning F1 champion Max Verstappen finished third and followed by his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez. Verstappen and Perez are second and third in the standings behind Leclerc.
Verstappen and Leclerc shared the first four races with two wins each as Ferrari have been amazing since launching their new car built to the 2022 regulations.
Mercedes, meanwhile, have struggled a lot, and team principal Toto Wolff apologized to seven-time series champion Lewis Hamilton two weeks ago for giving him an ‘undriveable’ car. . Hamilton had finished 13th, while Russell was fourth at Imola.
In the first practice in Miami, Hamilton finished eighth. He showed up on the track with whatever jewelry he could find to protest the FIA’s crackdown on piercings and bling during competition.
F1’s governing body said the jewelry was a safety hazard, but Hamilton said he couldn’t remove his piercings and was prepared to miss the race.
He finally submitted a document to the FIA stating that he had removed everything he could before the first tests and obtained a temporary waiver on his earrings and nose piercing.
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