The Australian was set to retire from the 71-lap race at Interlagos after a tyre, which was jettisoned in the hefty first-corner shunt between Alex Albon and Kevin Magnussen, landed on the rear wing.
But due to subsequent barrier repairs, the race was soon red-flagged to allow the team to carry out repairs and re-enter Ricciardo into the race. McLaren did similar after Oscar Piastri was collected in the melee.
The compatriots were required to restart the race from the pit lane instead of taking the reorganised standing start. Both drivers were also dropped a lap behind the remaining cars.
This is because they both pitted at the end of the first lap when expected to be withdrawn, while the field continued through the pit lane behind the safety car before the race was eventually halted.
The FIA Sporting Regulations read: “Any cars in their garage at the time the race was suspended will be arranged at the back of the line of cars in the fast lane [of the pits] in the order they got there.
“Any such cars will be permitted to leave the pit lane when the race is resumed but must re-enter the pit lane when the safety car returns and may join the race once the last car has passed the pit exit after the re-start…
“Each lap completed using the procedures will be counted as a race lap as appropriate.”
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04
But Ricciardo has taken aim at these “lame” rules that do not allow for more “common sense” since he believes he should have been counted as being on the same lap as the rest of the pack.
“We hoped there was a red flag and we can get back in the race,” he said. “So, we got to the pits. We heard there were reds. The team did a great job fixing the car, so we’re ready to go.
“Then they tell me that Oscar and I are starting a lap down. All the excitement you have to race again just gets completely zapped out of you.
“There was not a green flag racing lap completed. I don’t know how we start the race then a lap down.
“That’s really frustrating. Obviously, it’s something kind of a bit lame in the rules.”
He continued: “I think my argument is if 15 cars had our issue today, are they going to start 15 cars in the pit lane a lap down and put five cars on the grid? No. They’re not going to do that.
“So, for me, I think they can use common sense and be a bit open-minded. I just wish we could race, I wish they would let us be in the race. That one hurts a bit.”