Daniel Ricciardo and Alexander Albon will not face a penalty over their collision which brought the Japanese Grand Prix to a stop on the first lap.

The pair were uninjured but retired after spinning into the barriers at turn three.

Ricciardo and team mate Yuki Tsunoda came under attack at the start as both started on the medium tyre compound while the six drivers immediately behind them were on softs. Albon drew alongside Ricciardo on the outside heading into the left-hander turn three but the pair touched and spun into the barriers.

The RB driver admitted he’d been preoccupied with an attack from another driver, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, when the crash happened.

“Myself and Yuki had a pretty poor getaway on the medium and all the cars behind on the soft just got us quite easily and we were just kind of scrabbling obviously for some grip,” he told the official F1 channel.

“By turn two it settled a little bit but then I remember getting out of two still with a little bit of traction and I remember an Aston on my left. So I was kind of watching that car and then as I was starting to drift to open up three, I felt Alex.

“I saw his onboard and he just had so much better drive out of two. I don’t even know if he wanted to be there, but he could see me kind of going a little bit sideways and just I think everyone kind of got choked up and that was that. So unfortunately a short Sunday.”

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Retiring on the first lap was “the worst thing,” said Ricciardo, who is yet to score a point this year.

Albon said he was trying to avoid contact when the pair touched. “I had, not a great start, but obviously a bit better than [those on] the medium tyres, and had good traction coming out of turn two. That was it, really.

“I don’t think Daniel saw me and then it was just a bit of a pinching moment. I tried to back out of it but I couldn’t quite get out of the way quick enough. So it was a tough one to take.”

The crash is the third for a Williams driver in the past two weekends. The team is already in a vulnerable position with a shortage of spares following the Australian Grand Prix, where it was only able to run one car in the race.

“Obviously we’re not in a great position as a team with parts and just general damage to the car so it’s very frustrating and just disappointing,” said Albon, who is unsure how serious the damage is to his FW46.

“Honestly, it wasn’t like a big crash but the way that I hit the wall, it was a tyre wall, we don’t have that many tyre walls any more in Formula 1 and the way that the tyre went under the car and it ripped the car, so the car went from a good amount of speed to zero really quickly. I’m just worried. I didn’t get a good look at it because it’s under the tyres. But hopefully it’s okay.”

The stewards investigated the crash but ruled it was a racing incident and took no action against either driver.

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“The explanations of both drivers were aligned as to the facts of the incident,” they noted. “On the approach to turn three, the driver of car three [Ricciardo] noticed car 18 [Stroll] on his left and stated that he wanted to give that car sufficient room. He stated he then looked to the apex of turn three. He did not see car 23 [Albon] on his right.

“The driver of car 23 stated that he thought he could overtake car three on the outside, into turn three, but then suddenly realised that car three had not seen him, applied the brakes but could not avoid the contact with car three.

“Accordingly we determine this to be a first lap incident and decide to take no further action.”

Pictures: Ricciardo and Albon’s crash

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