It was an up-and-down weekend for Daniel Ricciardo, as the McLaren driver returned in Q3 for the first time since Canada, starting the race in P9.
On Sunday, he completed an impressive double overtake on both Alpine cars in the same turn, but later on, during Lap 48, he made contact with Aston Martin's Lance Stroll whilst fighting for P11, thus earning a 5 seconds time penalty that didn't allow him to end the race in the top 10.
Ricciardo recalled the dynamics of the accident after the end of the Hungaroring race, citing the difficult tyres behaviour among the causes that favoured the contact: "I managed to hold off Stroll for a bit on the Medium and then, when we came out on the Hard, and he came out on a Soft, we simply had no grip."
"I tried to avoid contact but I couldn’t and unfortunately hit him, spun him around and got a penalty and then that was it. The Hard didn’t work for us, I could just never really get it working."
The former Red Bull driver explained that he had tried to avoid hitting the Canadian, but as soon as he was back on track after his pit, he had known that it would have been difficult to fight for the position due to his tyre advantage:
"To be honest, as soon as I heard he was on a soft out of the pits, I was like, ‘oh no, this is going to be tough’. And I saw his traction out of [turn] one, and I honestly didn’t even want to kind of go into [turn] two with him because I knew that he would just cruise around the outside.”
He is also convinced that his penalty was deserved, as, even if he had tried leaving room for Stroll, he couldn't avoid the impact:
"I’d even kind of braked early because I knew if I went in hard, I was going to do exactly what I did. I felt like I gave him margin and it still wasn’t enough.
“As soon as I turned, I felt it lock and I knew exactly what was going to happen. So obviously no issue with the penalty there, that was completely fair.”
After the end of the race, Ricciardo went to apologise to the Aston Martin driver, who has confirmed he'll stay with the British team for 2023 as well:
"He knew straight away he goes ‘yeah, I know, the hard was a mess’ and had a bit of a laugh. But obviously it doesn’t change what happened," he said, mentioning that Stroll had no problems with accepting what had happened earlier.
"Unfortunately, there were more lows than highs,” said the Australian driver after the race, which had also been involved in an early race collision with Magnussen.
Lance Stroll remarked the inevitability of the accident as well: "That is how it goes sometimes."
"When I came up to pass Daniel, I gave him room on the inside at Turn Two, but I think he was struggling for grip on the Hard tyre and went a bit too deep," he added.
He was still proud of his race, that, even if it didn't allow him to keep up his point streak from France, was ended just out of the top 10.
"I think I drove a strong race, I had fun racing into the top 10."
"We seem to have better pace on Sundays than we do on Saturdays, so we need to look at that. But there are plenty of positives to take away," he concluded.