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.”