Ricciardo brushes off Baku practice crash, thanks team for repairs

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Daniel Ricciardo thanked his Red Bull team for quickly repairing his RB12 car following a crash during practice for the European Grand Prix on Friday.

Ricciardo was the first driver to fall foul of the tight Baku City Circuit, losing the backend of his car at Turn 3 and slamming into the barrier.

The shunt was big enough to warrant a red flag, and left the Red Bull mechanics with a sizeable repair job to complete ahead of second practice later in the day.

However, a swift fix-up meant Ricciardo could take part in the entire FP2 session, where he finished 10th-fastest.

“I didn’t brake too late, I actually came off the brakes too quick and tried to carry too much speed across the corner, even at the apex I didn’t think there was a problem but then the rear kicked out and did quite a lot of damage,” Ricciardo said of the crash.

“On a positive note the guys did a really awesome job to get me out there for second practice so a big thanks to them for allowing me to use the entire session.

“There is some time on the straight to think, which is nice as the corners are technical and you really need to concentrate. Being a street circuit if you want to be quick you need to find the limit and get close to the walls.

“In general we are chasing some grip and not really where we want to be. As we have found at new tracks before, getting the tyres to dig in isn’t easy, so when we improve that we will find some lap time.”

Despite the shunt, Ricciardo was one of a number of drivers to praise the Baku City Circuit, which plays host to F1 for the first time this weekend.

“I think the circuit is pretty cool, it’s definitely as tight as it looks and has a lot of corners unlike any others on the calendar,” Ricciardo said.

“There are a few interesting lines past the castle which adds to the toughness. It’s pretty unique and as I showed this morning some of the corners are pretty challenging and not that easy.”

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.