Ricciardo denies gaining advantage by going off-track

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Daniel Ricciardo said he did not gain an advantage by going off the track while passing Adrian Sutil during the Japanese Grand Prix.

Ricciardo took to the run-off on the outside of the high-speed 130R corner as he overtook the Force India driver on lap 26.

The stewards ruled Ricciardo had gained an advantage by leaving the circuit and handed him a drive-through penalty. But after the race Ricciardo said going off the track hadn’t helped him.

“I made a move on the outside of Sutil at the 130R and got past him,” he explained. “But after that, I ran wide onto the grass, which lost me a bit of time.”

“Sadly, the Stewards decided I had gained an advantage by going off the track and had to take a drive-through penalty, which of course ruined my race.”

Ricciardo was using a different strategy to his rivals having started the race on the hard tyres.

“I am disappointed not to have scored some points because I am convinced I was heading for the top ten,” he said, “which would have been an encouraging result, after struggling with the balance of the car on Saturday.”

“We started on the hard tyre and after I made a good start to move up two places, it was looking good as I passed Bottas on the track and moved up the order as those on the medium pitted ahead of me.”

But the penalty ended his hopes of a top ten finish. “I was ninth when I came in for the penalty and it dropped me down outside the points.”

Williams confirms Kubica and Sirotkin for Abu Dhabi F1 test

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Williams has confirmed that Robert Kubica will enjoy his third Formula 1 test outing with the team at the end-of-season running in Abu Dhabi next week as rumors grow regarding a possible race seat for 2018.

Almost seven years after his last F1 start, Kubica’s remarkable return from severe injuries sustained in a rally accident saw him enjoy two private tests with Renault before completing running with the team in a 2017-spec car in Hungary over the summer.

Reservations over Kubica’s capabilities prompted Renault to pass on giving him a seat, instead opting to hire Carlos Sainz Jr. for next year, only for Williams to become an alternative for the Pole.

Kubica tested a 2014-spec Williams at both Silverstone and the Hungaroring in recent months, and will now sample a 2017 car when he tests at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kubica will share track time with regular Williams racer Lance Stroll and Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin, who has worked with Renault over the past two years but also missed out on a 2018 seat.

“Williams Martini Racing is pleased to confirm it will run Robert Kubica and Sergey Sirotkin for the Abu Dhabi Pirelli tire test, alongside current race driver Lance Stroll,” a statement from the team reads.

“The Pirelli tire test will take place over two days at the Yas Marina circuit during the week following the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“On day one Robert Kubica will drive the FW40 in the morning session, before Lance Stroll takes over in the afternoon.

“On day two Sergey Sirotkin will drive in the morning and afternoon sessions before handing over to Robert in the late afternoon.

“The test is aimed at evaluating 2018 candidate tires on behalf of the Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli.

“Williams is excited to have this opportunity to assess the new tyres across such an interesting range of drivers: Lance, as confirmed race driver for 2018, Robert with his huge experience, and Sergey as a very promising young talent in Formula 1.”

Williams denied earlier this week it has signed Kubica to partner Stroll for 2018, but indications are the deal looks very likely to go ahead, subject to the relevant paperwork and contracts being finalized.