Ricciardo investigated over Schumacher incident

F1 stewards have opted against sanctioning Daniel Ricciardo following an incident with rising star Mick Schumacher during an eventful first day at the Miami Grand Prix.

The Australian was accused of brake testing the son of F1 legend Michael, which is the act of sharply hitting the brakes, leading into turns 16 and 17 during the opening practice session.

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FIA stewards announced the incident was under investigation, with the Haas team perplexed by Ricciardo’s behavior.

Schumacher was heard on his team radio saying: “What is going on?”

FIA officials announced at the end of the session: “The driver and team representative are required to report to the Stewards at 16.30 (local time) in relation to the incident below.

“No. 3 driver Daniel Ricciardo — incident between cars 3 and 7 at turns 16 and 17 at 14.37. Alleged breach of article 33.4 of the FIA ​​Formula One Sporting Regulations”.

The rule related to driving slowly.

The rule states: “​​At no time may a car be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person”.

The Aussie finished the session in tenth position and was later cleared over the brake testing allegations.

The ruling comes amid an uncertain future for the Australian, with speculation Ricciardo could lose his spot on the grid before his contract expires at the end of 2023 as McLaren looks to the future.

American IndyCar star Colton Herta has been earmarked as a potential replacement.

The 22-year-old is a development driver at McLaren and as part of his deal, Herta is set to test the MCL35M this year.

Formula One championship leader Charles Leclerc paced the opening practice of the inaugural Miami Grand Prix and Mercedes showed some hopeful improvement as George Russell was faster than both Red Bull cars.

Leclerc covered the 19-turn, 3.36-mile circuit (5.41 kilometers) in 1 minute, 31:098 seconds in his Ferrari in the first of two looks at the purpose-built course around Hard Rock Stadium. Russell was second fastest for Mercedes, which has been slow out of the gate this season with its new car.

Reigning F1 champion Max Verstappen was third and followed by Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez. Verstappen and Perez are second and third in the standings behind Leclerc.

Verstappen and Leclerc have split the first four races with two wins each as Ferrari has been incredible since it debuted its new car built under the 2022 regulations.

Mercedes, meanwhile, has struggled mightily, and team principal Toto Wolff apologized to seven-time series champion Lewis Hamilton two weeks ago for giving him an “undrivable” car. Hamilton had finished 13th, while Russell was fourth at Imola.

In the first practice at Miami, Hamilton was eighth. He showed up at the track wearing all the jewelry he could find in protest of the FIA’s crackdown on body piercings and bling during competition.

The governing body for F1 says the jewelry is a safety hazard, but Hamilton said he cannot remove his piercings and was willing to miss the race.

He ultimately submitted a document to the FIA ​​that said he’d removed everything he could ahead of first practice and was granted a temporary waiver on his earrings and nose piercing.

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